Nike, which has been fighting negative headlines for its association with FIFA, poached a high-ranking executive from another powerful company. The Beaverton, Ore.-based athletic giant said it has hired Jim Scholefield away from Coca-Cola Co.
Nike named the 53-year-old executive its chief information officer. He starts June 29 and will report to Eric Sprunk, the company’s COO.
As CIO, Scholefield will be tasked with leading Nike’s technology strategy to support growth, according to a company statement. “Jim is a proven leader with more than 25 years of experience in the technology industry, and we look forward to his strong leadership at Nike as we continue to create technology solutions to drive our robust innovation agenda across our global business,” Sprunk said in a statement.
At Coke, Scholefield was chief technology officer, responsible for the beverage giant’s IT strategy, tech operations and technology engineering companywide. He fills the post that was vacated in December by Anthony Watson. He’d been on the job for less than a year.
Industry observers believe the hire comes at a good time.
According to a recent report by Strategy Analytics Inc., companies such as Under Armour are setting the “blueprint for success in the digital health-and-fitness space” and that the approach “should be mimicked by its competition: Nike and Adidas.”
Adam Thorwart, the report’s author, said in a statement, “The arms race to be the top digital health-and-fitness provider is far from over. Key competitors, like Nike and Adidas, should be looking for ways to regain status in the industry. Meanwhile, Under Armour needs to not only focus on Nike and Adidas — it also needs to focus on Fitbit, which recently acquired FitStar. This [information] race is just starting to heat up.”