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Nike president retiring as the company addresses workplace behavior concerns

Stephen Lam/Getty Images
Stephen Lam/Getty Images

(PORTLAND) — Nike President Trevor Edwards will retire this summer, the company said Thursday, shortly after the corporation reportedly sent out a companywide email referring to workplace conduct.

Mark Parker, chairman and CEO of Nike, said the company has “become aware of reports of behavior occurring within our organization that do not reflect our core values of inclusivity, respect and empowerment,” according to the internal email, acquired by ESPN, which reported that the note preceded news of Edwards’ retirement by “moments.”

“This disturbs and saddens me,” Parker said.

The note does not implicate Edwards, according to ESPN. But the pending retirement of the Nike brand president comes at a time “when we are accelerating our transition to the next stage of growth and advancing our culture,” Parker wrote.

In a news release issued later Thursday, Parker thanked Edwards, 55, for the “important role he has played for 25 years and for his significant contributions. He has helped us grow and strengthen our brand on a global scale.”

The company did not specify why Edwards is leaving.

Edwards, who departs as the company’s No. 2 employee, has been with Nike since 1992, joining as a regional marketing manager, according to his profile on the company website.

He has led some of Nike’s most important innovations, including the creation of Nike+, the website states.

He will serve as an adviser to Parker until his retirement in August, as Nike transitions its organization, Parker said in the press statement.

Nike also announced that Parker will remain as CEO beyond 2020.

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