NIKE TAPS PARKER, DENSON AS DIVISIONAL PRESIDENTS

Byline: Rosemary Feitelberg

NEW YORK — Nike has named two company veterans, Mark Parker and Charles Denson, as presidents of the Nike brand.
Both men continue to be based at the company’s headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., and report to Phil Knight, chairman, president and chief executive officer.
These appointments will not affect the role of Tom Clarke, who is president of new business ventures, a Nike spokeswoman said Thursday. Last June, Clarke took on that role and relinquished his post as president and chief operating officer, a position he’d held for six years.
“Tom continues to do valuable work for the company in new business development,” the spokeswoman said. “His role has not changed.”
Parker now oversees all global product development and brand management, as well as marketing responsibilities. Denson manages the brand’s four regional operations — the U.S., Europe, the Mideast and Africa, as well as the brand’s finance, human resources, operations, legal and strategic planning.
Denson, vice president of Nike USA, and Parker, vice president of global footwear, will maintain their current responsibilities until replacements are named, the spokeswoman said. Each of the new presidents has 22 years of experience with Nike.
Parker, who started at the sneaker giant as a footwear designer and development manager, has specialized in research and development and marketing. While heading up the brand’s footwear business for the past three years, he helped develop such innovations as Visible Air, the brand’s cross-training category, Tuned Air and Presto.
Since joining the company in 1979 as assistant manager of one’s of Nike’s first stores in Portland, Denson has gone on to focus on sales and regional management. Prior to being named vice president of the USA last June, he spent more than three years at Nike’s European headquarters in Hilversum, The Netherlands.
The restructuring was not triggered by pressure from analysts, the spokeswoman said. Nike stock took a serious hit last week, after the company’s announced third-quarter earnings came in about one-third below earlier estimates.
“This has nothing to do with the analyst community,” she said. “The bottom line is we’ve been talking for quite some time about ways to focus and strengthen Nike’s business.”
John Shanley, senior vice president of Wells Fargo Van Kasper, said Parker and Denson have been essentially serving as presidents for nearly a year.
“I don’t consider it very noteworthy from an investment point of view,” he said.