News: Nike Diversity Chief resigns after two years

C-Suite

Nike Diversity Chief resigns after two years

Nike Inc’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion Kellie Leonard, is stepping down after just two years in the role, according to an email to Nike staff in which CEO John Donahoe called the moves “a structural shift”.
Nike Diversity Chief resigns after two years

Nike’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Kellie Leonard is stepping down after just two years in the role, people briefed on the matter said. According to reports, Kellie Leonard will be replaced by Felicia Mayo, VP- HR, Nike. Reasons for Leonard’s departure were not immediately clear.

In an email to employees on Monday, John Donahoe, CEO, Nike called the moves “a structural shift” which “allows for more meaningful change, focusing on equal access to opportunity for all” employees. He thanked her for her 18 years service at the company.

A spokesman for Nike said she “decided to leave the company to pursue other interests” and was unrelated to the ongoing restructuring and job cuts.

Leonard, who previously served in Nike’s investor relations team, took on the newly-created role in the spring of 2018 as the company grappled with complaints from employees about a boys’ club culture. She did not respond to a request for comment.

The US group last week said it would spend between $200 MN to $250 MN in one-time costs associated with lay-offs this summer, as the company restructures. Donahoe, a longtime Nike board member, and a former executive at eBay and ServiceNow, took on the top executive role in January.

Earlier, Apple Inc.’s Head of Diversity and Inclusion Christie Smith resigned. CEO Tim Cook also shared that Apple is launching $100 MN Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, adding to the company’s response to the police killing of George Floyd last month. Cook wrote in a letter to employees and customers that society needs to do more to push equality, particularly for Black people.

Image Credits: SEGD

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