Nike Hires Former Twitter VP as Fourth DEI Chief Since 2020

Nike has tapped James Loduca as its new chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, the fourth person to fill the role since 2020.

Loduca, who most recently served as the VP of inclusion diversity, equity and accessibility (IDEA) at Twitter, announced the news in a LinkedIn post on Tuesday. Nike confirmed the news but did not offer a statement.

“In an increasingly polarized time, sport is one of the few things that still brings us together,” Loduca wrote. “Nike believes that if you have a body, you are an athlete — and I’m thrilled to be joining the team and help lead efforts to create a level playing field where everyone can win.”

Nike DEI chief
CREDIT: Linkedin

Loduca replaces Nike’s former DEI chief Jarvis Sam, who left the company in late November, just six months into his role as chief DEI officer. He left to launch his own DEI consulting and strategy group, The Rainbow Disruption.

Prior to Sam, Felicia Mayo served as the company’s chief talent, diversity and culture officer for two years until August of 2022. Kellie Leonard was named Nike’s first head of diversity in 2018 and served in the role until 2020.

The short tenure of DEI chiefs at Nike reflects a broader trend. The average tenure for a chief diversity officer was just 3.4 years in 2022, according to leadership advisory firm Russell Reynolds Associates.

In recent years, Nike has invested more heavily into programs to support DEI inside and outside the company, such as an apprenticeship initiative aimed at promoting diversity in design and a program that hires retired WNBA players into Nike jobs. Nike has also made efforts to improve the gender and racial diversity of its leadership team. Notably, three women now lead the company’s geographic regions — Sarah Mensah, VP/GM of North America; Amy Montagne, VP/GM of Asia Pacific and Latin America; and Angelo Dong, VP/GM of Greater China. And Heidi O’Neill was named as its first female president of Nike Consumer and Marketplace in April 2020.

Access exclusive content