Nike Inc. has just awarded Chief Executive Officer Mark Parker a restricted stock award valued at $30 million USD in an agreement that Parker will remain with the company for the next five years. The stock is almost 10 times his average annual share grant — a vast leap from Parker’s previous stock awards, which were valued at $3.5 million USD each for the past three years. What’s more, Nike will be taking the tax bill for the award, which could be up to over $10,000 USD in tax reimbursements. In addition to this, Nike grants $10,000 bonuses to employees who reach their 30th anniversary with the company as well as every five years thereafter, which Parker recently received for his 35th year at the company.
Parker joined the Nike team in 1979 as a shoe designer and took roles in design and marketing before becoming CEO in 2006, and he has been wholly supported by co-founder Phil Knight to succeed Knight’s role as chairman next year following his retirement. Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook leads Nike’s compensation committee, which officially reviewed Parker’s strong work performance as irreplaceable value to the company; “In granting this equity award, Phil Knight and Nike’s board of directors recognize Mark Parker’s exceptional leadership and his critical role in driving Nike Inc.’s growth strategy for years to come,” said Nike spokesman Greg Rossiter via e-mail. Following this development, Parker will have a huge responsibility in helping lead the world’s largest sporting goods retailer in conjunction with the growing expanse of competitors like adidas Group. Nike has had a strong and profitable year, having seen company shares rise 46% in the past year.
Do you think Parker has what it takes to continue Knight’s legacy?
- Business of Fashion
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