LOS ANGELES – Nike Inc chairman and founder Phillip Knight has said that CEO William Perez had handed in his papers and Nike’s board of directors had accepted his resignation on Friday. Perez had only been in charge of the athletic goods company for 13 months, but had many clashes with Knight over several issues during the period.
Nike said that company co-President Mark Parker will take over from Perez. In a conference call with analysts, Knight elaborated that Perez was unable to “wrap his arms around this company.” He felt that Nike was operating at 80 percent efficiency under his stewardship, “Basically the distance between the company that Bill managed in the packaged goods business and Nike and the kind of new athletic equipment business was too great for him to make that leap,” he said.
Perez had previously headed S.C. Johnson & Son Inc, a household products company. Nike said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that Perez would be given at least $4.5 million as salary and bonuses and that they would be buying his home and compensating the remodeling expenses.
Knight chose Perez when he decided to hand over the running over of the day-to-day affairs of the Beaverton-based company to someone else. But Perez was unable to jell in with Nike’s plans and had opposing plans regarding the direction that the company should take, “It was too much a difference in industries, too much a difference in companies, too much a difference in brands and too much a difference in culture,” Knight confirmed.
Perez himself acknowledged that the differences between him and Knight were irreparable and that the two of them “weren’t entirely aligned on some aspects of how to best lead the company’s long-term growth. It became obvious to me that the long-term interests of the company would be best served by my resignation.” Nike shares dipped $1.03 to $83.17 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.