Nike CEO | Mark ParkerSincebeing founded in 1964, Nike has sprung to be the top leader of athletic shoesand apparel, holding a 62% market share of the US athletic shoe market. Overthe years, the amount of retail stores that Nike operates worldwide hasgradually increased. As of 2017, there was a total of 1,142 Nike retail stores.Nike is a company with a staggering brand value of $15.
9 billion that isconstantly on the rise. A lot of Nike’s success can be credited to the currentCEO, Mark Parker. Parker started working for Nike as a footwear designer in1979 and, as of 2006, has become the CEO. He has helped the company tosuccessfully attract the street style generation with product lines such asNike Free Run, Air Max and Fly Knit. Mark Parker has an amazing leadershipstyle that has aided in his personal success as well as Nike’s. In 2012, Mark Parker was named the Most Creative CEO byFast Company. It is fair to say that Parker is quite an effective leader.
Sincebeing named CEO in 2006, profits at Nike have increased 57% and the market caphas more than doubled. Parker describes his leadership style as an “edit andamplify” approach. Referring to this approach, Parker stated recently that, “I’mtrying to amplify the innovation agenda further, and short-list the things thatwill make the biggest difference. That’s an art and a science.” It has alsobeen said that Parker takes an approach known as Design Thinking’. Essentially,Design Thinking is a technique that provides a solution-based approach tosolving problems. Design Thinking focuses on a five-stage model; empathise,define the problem, ideate, prototype and test. Using these different tacticshas proved to be very successful for Mark Parker and Nike in general.
Mark Parker can most likely be described as what businessconsultant Jim Collins calls a Level 5 Leader. Parker is involved personallywith the development of new products and technologies. He continually pusheshis staff to keep looking for more ways to improve and adapt to changingenvironments. Parker noted that he sees change as an opportunity and tells hisstaff to get on the offensive.
Also, unlike most other CEOs, Parker is moreintroverted than extroverted. This allows him to stay humble and continue tosucceed every day at Nike. New leadership styles and methods are being exploredevery day.
Mark Parker uses different leadership styles depending on theproblem or circumstance. Parker says that some instances require him to be hardand fast and using top down leadership helps him prosper. Parker likes to lookfor ideas from the bottom. Although he uses top down leadership for directionto his staff and peers, he believes that ideas can come from anywhere. Parkerlikes to pull ideas from his junior team members and spotlight them because,after all, small projects or ideas can flourish into huge billion dollarconcepts.
Because Parker does not believe in micromanaging, he trusts hisstaff, asks lots of questions and explores many different types of methods andtechniques to expand Nike. As the CEO of Nike, Parker has to live and breathe theNike mission and vision, “To bring inspiration and innovation to everyathlete”. Parker not only strives to present this to the customers, he also bringsthis into his leadership style. Parker encourages his staff to come up withexcelling ideas and innovate in their everyday work. As a leader that worksalongside his peers instead of over them, Parker designs footwear and isconstantly brainstorming ideas.
Parker adorns his office with a mix ofcontemporary art, sculptures and an array of miniature Nike shoes to inspirenew ideas with different views of world culture. Being fully mindful andcommitted to the vision and purpose of his company, Parker can serve Nike tohis fullest abilities. In conclusion, Mark Parker is an extremely capable andexcelling leader and CEO. From being named Business Journal’s 2014 CEO of theYear to Fortune’s Business Person of the Year in 2015, Parker has been anincredibly successful businessman. Mark Parker took Nike to the next level andaided them in achieving greatness. Overall, one can learn a lot from Parker’sleadership style and how he went from good to great. Starting as a designer in1979, moving up to the Division Vice President in 1987, Corporate VicePresident in 1989, General Manager in 1993, Vice President of Global Footwearin 1998, co-president in 2001, CEO in 2006 and finally chairman, president andCEO in 2016, Parker portrays persistence, dedication, patience and victory.Whether it is problem solving, creativity or leading, Mark Parker seems to haveit all.