Nike CEO John Donahoe to Get ‘House in Order’ to Fight Racial Inequality
Nike CEO John Donahoe has delivered an internal memo to his company’s staff, outlining plans to get the brand’s ‘house in order’ to boost racial equality. In perhaps the most noteworthy move, he’s decided to make Juneteenth – June 19 – a paid company holiday.
Following the callous murder of George Floyd, and the ensuing protests across the globe, Nike will now focus on four key areas to improve race relations internally: representation, professional development, inclusion and belonging, and education.
Donahoe has appointed Brandis Russell, VP of global footwear for Converse; and Phil McCartney, VP/GM of global footwear for Nike, to co-chair a new D&I Acceleration Taskforce, which will involve a ‘small cross-functional team’ supported by Nike’s D&I team to develop a plan and set of comprehensive recommendations.
Also known as Freedom Day, June 19 annually commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.
‘As I have listened deeply during my first six months and over the past few weeks, what I have learned is that many have felt a disconnect between our external brand and your internal experience,’ said Donahoe in the memo.
‘You have told me that we have not consistently supported, recognised and celebrated our own Black teammates in a manner they deserve. This needs to change… When we say that Black Lives Matter, it applies to the world outside of Nike and, importantly, it applies to our Black teammates within Nike. Simply put, we need to hold ourselves to a high standard given the heritage of our company and our brand.’
In the past week, Nike, Converse, and Jordan Brand have committed $140 million in donations toward the fight for racial equality.