Nike said late Monday that Ann Hebert, VP and general manager, North American geography, had stepped down — just eight months after she was promoted to the role as part of the Swoosh’s Consumer Direct Offense strategy.
Hebert, who leaves the company after 25 years, made the decision to resign, a Nike spokesperson said. The move comes a few days after Bloomberg Businessweek released a cover story featuring Hebert’s 19-year-old son, Joe, who runs a sneaker resale business called West Coast Streetwear. Joe’s experience building the company was detailed in the piece, which examined how young entrepreneurs are capitalizing on the resale boom.
In the piece, written by Joshua Hunt, the reporter discovered the connection between mother and son when the younger Hebert purportedly called the reporter from a phone that was registered to Ann. After further research, Hunt confirmed that Ann had been a longtime Nike executive. Separately, Joe allegedly sent Hunt a statement for a corporate card for WCS LLC to show the company’s revenues, and it was listed in Ann’s name.
When Hunt asked the younger Hebert about the relationship, he confirmed it. But Joe said, according to the reporter, that his mother was “so high up at Nike as to be removed from what he does, and that he’d never received inside information such as discount codes from her. He insisted, though, that she not be mentioned in the article and cut off contact not long after our conversation.”
At the time, Ann didn’t reply to the publication’s request for comment, but Nike spokesperson Sandra Carreon-John said that the executive disclosed relevant information about her son’s venture in 2018. “There was no violation of company policy, privileged information or conflicts of interest, nor is there any commercial affiliation between WCS LLC and Nike, including the direct buying or selling of Nike products,” Carreon John wrote, according to the piece.
FN has reached out to West Coast Streetwear for comment.
The news of Hebert’s resignation continues to make headlines today and is causing a firestorm on social media, with multiple athletic industry insiders sounding off on the situation.
For instance, at press time, a Twitter post by sneaker influencer and television host Tamara Dhia discussing Hebert’s rise and purported downfall in the male-dominated athletic industry has garnered over 3,400 retweets, 18,000 likes and nearly 4,000 comments.
This Nike reseller situation is so crazy. But honestly the worst part is that Ann Hebert worked her way up the ladder in a male-dominated industry for 25 years only to be knocked down by her clout-chasing son.
— Tamara Dhia (@tamaradhia) March 2, 2021