SBD/September 23, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Nike Brand President Trevor Edwards Being Eyed As Possible Successor To Mark Parker

Edwards has been at the forefront of Nike's foray into digital technology
Nike Brand President TREVOR EDWARDS spoke during the exec Q&A session of the company's shareholder meeting last Thursday, and it "provided a powerful hint at what Nike watchers have suspected for some time: Edwards is the leading contender to succeed" CEO MARK PARKER some day, according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. Edwards began his new position on July 1 after previously serving as Nike VP/Global Brand & Category Management, but Thursday's meeting "might have been the day he really came into his own, at least in the eyes of analysts and others who watch Nike closely." Parker "would appear to be set" as CEO until at least '17, and Nike COO ERIC SPRUNK also has been "mentioned as a possible CEO candidate." Also speaking at the shareholder meeting were Nike co-Founder & Chair PHIL KNIGHT, VP & CFO DON BLAIR and VP/Sustainable Business & Innovation HANNAH JONES. Edwards for the past decade has "been at the forefront of Nike's foray into digital products, e-commerce and customer interaction," and that focus "came to the fore in one of the questions posed by Knight." Edwards said, "You know, one of the greatest things we're seeing today and I think one of the things all of us as consumers are experiencing is around digital technology. ... We're really expanding out the idea of brand not only being about great products but also being about great services in terms of how we connect with our consumers" (Portland OREGONIAN, 9/21). The OREGONIAN's Brettman reported Edwards "fielded the bulk of the questions" during the Q&A session. The format, with Knight "reading the questions, offered Edwards a platform to expound on one of his favorite subject's: digital technology and Nike" (Portland OREGONIAN, 9/21).

SLUGGISH SALES IN RUSSIA HURTING ADIDAS: The FINANCIAL TIMES reported one of adidas' distribution centers in Russia had a "hiccup" in sales, which is worrying for the company because its "strength in Russia gives it an advantage that helps to offset the global superiority" of Nike. Russia is adidas' third-biggest market after the U.S. and China. As adidas "moves away from its flagging Reebok brand, especially in the US, it is Nike, not Adidas, that is picking up the share." Nike's shares this year have "gained a third, more than twice as much as Adidas’s, with most of the gains coming this month" (FT.com, 9/20).
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