Nike Shakes Up Senior Leadership Team as Part of New Digital Strategy, Will Cut Jobs

As it forges ahead with its new digital-focused business strategy, Nike Inc. is making a series of leadership changes.

The sportswear giant announced today that, aligning with its Consumer Direct Offense, it has appointed Amy Montagne as VP/GM of men’s, Whitney Malkiel as VP/GM of women’s and McCallester Dowers as VP/GM of kids — all of whom will report to Michael Spillane, who becomes president of consumer creation.

It has also named new executives in its geographic segments of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), as well as the Asia-Pacific and Latin America (APLA). Carl Grebert will take on the role of VP/GM of the EMEA, succeeding Bert Hoyt, who will retire this year after 22 years with the company. Sarah Mensah will then take on Grebert’s post as VP/GM of the APLA.

Ann Hebert and Angela Dong will remain in their respective roles of VP/GM of North America and Greater China. All geography leaders report to president of consumer and marketplace Heidi O’Neill.

What’s more, Jordan Brand president Craig Williams and Converse Inc. president and CEO G. Scott Uzzell will join Nike’s executive leadership team, reporting to CEO John Donahoe.

“We are announcing changes today to transform Nike faster, accelerate against our biggest growth opportunities and extend our leadership position,” Donahoe said in a statement. “Now is the right time to build on Nike’s strengths and elevate a group of experienced, talented leaders who can help drive the next phase of our growth.”

In its fourth-quarter conference call last month, Nike announced that it has begun the Consumer Direct Acceleration phase as part of its Consumer Direct Offense alignment, which was unveiled three years ago.

With the strategy, Nike intends to ramp up investments in e-commerce and technology, as well as simplify its “consumer construct” of men’s, women’s and kids’ businesses. It also intends to open up to 200 new smaller-format, digitally enabled stores across North America and Europe-Middle East-Africa countries.

As it seeks to create a “nimbler, flatter organization,” the Beaverton, Ore.-based brand added today that its operational model changes will result in a net loss of jobs across its workforce. It expects to incur pre-tax, one-time employee termination costs in the range of $200 million to $250 million.

Nike previously confirmed to FN that it would lay off an unspecified number of employees. This move, it explained, is unrelated to cost savings and rather related to a redirection of resources.

“We are shifting resources and creating capacity to reinvest in our highest potential areas, and we anticipate our realignment will likely result in a net loss of jobs,” the company wrote last month. “We are committed to showing compassion and respect for our transitioning employees through thoughtful and robust severance practices, consistent with our company values, our legal obligations, the competitive marketplace and individual employee situations.”

During the fourth quarter, Nike lost 51 cents per share, marking only the second time in eight years that it has missed earnings estimates. Revenues dropped 38% to $6.3 billion, which the brand attributed to the widespread closures of its stores. Analysts were forecasting earnings of 9 cents per share and sales of $7.53 billion.

The closures of its physical stores led Nike to shift greater resources to its digital business — a bright spot in its earnings report — which surged a currency-neutral 79% in the fourth quarter and accounted for about 30% of total revenues. The brand reported strong double-digit increases across all geographies.

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