Nike CEO apologizes to employees for workplace culture after months of turmoil

Nike CEO Mark Parker apologized to employees for permitting a workplace culture where some felt excluded and management didn’t take complaints seriously, according to a copy of his speech obtained by CNBC.

In an all-staff meeting, Parker addressed issues that have come into light in recent months. He apologized to employees who felt excluded and like they didn’t have anyone to go to with their concerns.

Multiple executives have left Nike because of reports of inappropriate behavior and poor workplace conduct. Fed up with the corporate culture at the Oregon-based company, a group of women started a small revolt.

Parker told employees someone recently told him they didn’t feel they fit the Nike profile, according to a copy of his prepared remarks. He said it hurt him to hear that because “there is no Nike profile.”

“I want everyone at Nike to know that their voices do matter … and your bravery is making us better,” Parker said, according to a transcript of his prepared remarks.

The Wall Street Journal was the first to report on Parker’s speech.

Parker outlined steps Nike is taking to change its corporate culture, including shifting the company’s vision and behaviors it expects. One example is moving from the mindset of Nike being a place where the loudest voices carry the conversation to a place where every voice is heard.

He told employees he can lead the change but he can’t do it alone, and it’s going to take everyone. He asked them to support each other, be energetic, engaged, constructive and passionate, yet respectful, open and humble.

“Let’s move towards that future,” Parker said. “I’m in 100 (percent), and I’m counting on you to be all-in too.”

—CNBC’s Sara Eisen contributed to this report

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.