Not one to sit quietly on the sidelines, Mark Parker made sure Nike stuck to its moral code and took a stand “against bigotry and any form of discrimination” at the start of the year. Challenging US president Donald Trump’s executive order banning entry to the US from certain Muslim countries, Parker sent an internal email – which quickly found its way to social media – reiterating to his team the importance of standing up for the brand’s values and remaining open and inclusive.
This did not mean he took his eye off the ball with Nike’s trading – revenues for the year to 31 May were up 6% to $34.4bn (£25.9bn). But Parker, who joined Nike in 1979 as a footwear designer, has not been immune to the tough trading conditions, despite the continued dominance of the athleisure trend. In June he announced the loss of around 1,400 jobs across the brand, amounting to 2% of its global workforce. This was done as part of a bid to refocus on key markets and deliver products faster.