MARK PARKER'S GOODBYE

The next January 13 is Mark Parker's last day as Nike CEO. His legacy is almost impossible to cover and goes beyond the functions that are usually related to such a position.

Nike veteran, athlete, designer, art collector, the man who has managed to double the turnover of Nike has set a course that has a lot to do with his personal history. The interests, abilities and relationships of Mark Parker during the 13 years in which he has directed the company explain Nike's successful evolution. 
It is not usual for a company valued at 32 billion dollars to follow the path set by one of its former designers. Bachelor of Political Science and sub-elite athlete, he won the Johnstown Marathon in 1978, a fundamental fact to understand his arrival in Nike, accustomed to receiving athletes.
First as a product tester and later as a designer, he was involved in the development of shoes that, today, we consider classicl, such as the Internationalist, Pegasus 83, Escape, Epic and Air Max 1 together with Tinker Hatfield, who became his travel and creations partner. While Hatfield was growing as a designer, Parker was developing different positions at Nike, Vice President of Development in 1987, General Manager in 1992, Vice President of Footwear in 1998 and finally, CEO in 2006. In a world of professional CEOs that constantly change companies, Parker arrived at the position after 27 years in Nike and had a history that had led him to know the company in a global way, from very different perspectives.
Mark Parker's multidimensional character has placed him as a manager who feels comfortable in different aspects. He is one of the brand's veterans, and knows the company and its policy from within. He also is an athlete capable of giving an athletic vision to his performance (few CEOs can claim to have won a marathon). 
As a designer, he knows the language and the product perfectly, but he is also an avid art collector that shares visions with Tom Sachs or Futura, something that could be seen in his unusual office. A particular look that has remained in a line, HTM, which he shared with Tinker Hatfield and Hiroshi Fujiwara, and in absolute control over the final product because Nike designers knew that their CEO spoke a common language. His managerial style was actually an extension of the design processes, in which he acted by selecting projects and evaluating their development.
His reign, in which Nike has doubled its billing, is a mixture of controversial athletic feats, innovative designs and collaborations raised as a new strategy. Mark Parker's new position, as council's chairman, will at least keep him close to strategic decisions. And maybe let hime more time to continue designing.