Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) is feeling the heat after it released an internal memo detailing an investigation into workplace behavior, as well as announcing a that a few of its high-level executives would be departing. Keep in mind that while this all seems very coincidental, it does not imply causation nor has anything been deemed conclusive yet.
According to the memo, Nike management has become aware of reports of behavior occurring within its organization that does not reflect its core values of “inclusivity, respect, and empowerment.” In a sense, this is highlighting what many perceive as sexual harassment. And this comes at a strange time.
The memo detailed Nike’s plan for investigating and evaluating these claims going forward:
We are going to be doing a comprehensive review of our HR systems and practices along with elevating our complaint process for matters of respect issues. We will increase and invest more heavily in our diversity and inclusion teams and networks and additionally will immediately put in place an enhanced process to encourage our employees to speak up and make their voices heard.
In the same memo, Nike announced a departure in its senior leadership, which again comes at a strange time. Trevor Edwards, Nike Brand president, will retire from Nike in August. He will now serve as an advisor to President, Chair and CEO Mark Parker until his retirement as Nike transitions its organization.
Also Jayme Martin, vice president and general manager of global categories, will resign as well, after a more than 20-year stint with Nike.
According to a spokesperson, there have been no direct allegations of misconduct against Edwards, although there was no comment about direct complaints about Martin.
While these executives are taking off, Parker noted that there would be stability with executive leadership at the firm:
I am committed to stay in my role as Chairman, President and CEO beyond 2020. Trevor has decided to retire. We are fortunate to have a strong management team in place who is well suited to drive our next stage of growth and to steward and evolve our culture in the future.
Shares of Nike closed Friday at $65.91, with a consensus analyst price target of $67.91 and a 52-week trading range of $50.35 to $70.25.