Nike is changing directions to go places it's never gone. But the floor leader directing this isn't legendary co-founder Phil Knight– as well-known for his ego as his vision. It's his unassuming, hand-picked replacement, Mark Parker. After four years as CEO, Parker is growing Nike from a brand that you slip on your feet or pull over your shoulders to one that follows you off the field into your life of digital socializing and New World hobbies.
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Nike's Mark Parker brings together extreme talents, whether they're basketball stars, tattooists, or designers obsessed with shoes.
Riding high on its "Write the Future" world football campaign, Nike executives announced that fourth-quarter profits came in strong and say its proactive strategy throughout the recession is paying off in a big way. "I said a year ago that Nike is not a 'wait and see' company, and we weren't about to let our core strengths sit idle," Mark Parker, president and CEO.
Nike Inc. Chief Executive Mark Parker took an unusual path to the top: The former Penn State University runner spent years as a shoe designer before starting to climb the corporate ladder. Now, he's taking Nike in a new direction, targeting overseas expansion—and not just with the Nike "swoosh." Last week he set the ambitious goal of increasing sales 40%, to $27 billion, by 2015. To achieve that while Nike sales growth in the U.S. is slowing, he's betting on such markets as China, India and Brazil, and on their burgeoning middle classes.
Yesterday may have seen a plummeting stock market, but that's yesterday. For the next five years, the world's leader in athletic shoes is planning to run with the bulls. In the company's first meeting with analysts in three years, Nike boldly proclaimed it has plans to fuel growth by more than 40% over the next five years, hitting $27 billion in annual sales versus its $19.2 billion sales tally for last year.