People and Pop Culture

Nike's culture undergoing big shift with Donahoe at helm

Nike CEO John Donahoe has pushed through the biggest corporate overhaul in recent company historyGETTY IMAGES

Nike CEO JOHN DONAHOE took over in January '20, and now the question is not if he “can navigate" the company's culture, but rather "how he is changing it,” according to Kish & Tyson of BUSINESS INSIDER. Donahoe “had his work cut out for him” since he started. By all financial accounts, Donahoe “has prevailed.” The company's shares are up 46% since then, “creating more than $75 billion in shareholder wealth.” He has also “pushed through the biggest corporate overhaul in recent Nike history." But some current and former insiders "are worried about an exodus of Nike veterans,” which marks a “shift for a company known for employee longevity.” One former employee said that unlike in previous reorganizations, employees were not “given the option to take early retirement or accept lower positions” in order to stay with the company. Multiple employees said that the layoffs “seemed indiscriminate and not reflective of employee skills or value to the company.” At least 20 high-level execs “left the company” in the first half of ‘21 alone. And the departures “seem to be picking up speed.” At least another 20 director-level execs “left in the past three months.” The company's insistence on “keeping its back-to-office plans” has not “helped morale or helped attract new hires,” especially in-demand technology workers. On Dec. 15, Nike employees “received an email saying they'd be required to return to the company's offices on January 11,” despite only 54% of employees indicating in an internal survey that the plan “gave them enough flexibility" (BUSINESS INSIDER, 1/20).

SBJ Spotlight: TikTok’s threat to traditional sports media

While tech companies are consumed with finding ways to compete with TikTok, almost no one in conventional media “spends any time talking about it,” said Recode senior correspondent Peter Kafka in an Spotlight interview with SBJ’s John Ourand. “To me, that’s just an obvious disconnect.” Kafka authored a recent column headlined, “It’s TikTok’s world. Can TV live in it?” He said the main response to TikTok’s growth from traditional media execs has been to “punt and hope it’s someone else’s problem a quarter from now or two years from now.” But Kafka said that ignores the trend of conventional broadcast audiences growing older while a billion younger consumers spend most of their media time watching short video after short video. “If you’re in the business of getting anyone under the age of 30 to look at what you’re putting on a screen, you have to think about the fact that you’re probably asking them to put down TikTok and watch your thing instead,” said Kafka. “That’s a very difficult ask. … [TikTok] is insanely addictive.”

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: June 29, 2022

BioSteel makes a major move with the NHL, while the USFL looks for additional investors.

SBJ Unpacks: Thaddeus Young, NBA forward and venture capitalist

SBJ's Austin Karp posted up with NBA power forward Thaddeus Young. The 15-year veteran discussed his venture capital strategy, his investment in technology and much more.

Shareable URL copied to clipboard!

Sorry, something went wrong with the copy but here is the link for you.