By The Malketeer

Nike has announced Nicole Hubbard Graham as its new Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), effective January 2, 2024 succeeding Dirk-Jan “DJ” van Hameren, who retires after 31 years at the company.

Graham, a former Nike executive, returned to the sportswear giant after a brief stint co-founding the creative ad agency Adopt. She is tasked with aligning Nike’s brand voice with its next era of growth, overseeing all aspects of marketing.

Van Hameren, the outgoing CMO, led Nike through impactful campaigns, including the controversial “Just Do It” featuring Colin Kaepernick. His tenure also faced internal challenges, with reported pushback from Black employees over diversity issues.

Under his leadership, Nike engaged with Gen Z in the gaming space, venturing into virtual sandboxes like Fortnite and Roblox.

Leadership Changes To Drive Growth in New Era

This leadership change is part of a broader executive shuffle at Nike. John Hoke, a company veteran, transitions from Chief Design Officer to Chief Innovation Officer, partnering with Tom Clarke, Nike’s President of Innovation.

Martin Lotti, with 26 years at Nike, takes over as Design Chief. Muge Erdirik Dogan joins from Amazon as Chief Technology Officer, reporting to CEO and President John Donahoe. Hoke, Lotti, and Graham report to Heidi O’Neill, President of Consumer, Product, and Brand.

This move follows Nike’s recent adjustments to its leadership, including the appointment of a new president for its Jordan brand and head of North America operations. These changes come amid increased competition and inflationary pressures, impacting on the company’s revenue, which fell short of analyst expectations for the first time in two years during the fiscal first quarter.

Nike’s appointment of Nicole Hubbard Graham as CMO signals a strategic move to navigate challenges and drive growth in the face of increased competition and economic pressures.

The leadership changes reflect a broader restructuring at Nike as it seeks to adapt to evolving market dynamics and consumer behaviours.

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