Nike president Trevor Edwards has resigned and will retire in August, the brand announced Thursday, moments after Nike sent out a company-wide email to its employees alluding to workplace behavior issues.
"Over the past few weeks, we've become aware of reports occurring within our organization that do not reflect our core values of inclusivity, respect and empowerment at a time when we are accelerating our transition to the next stage of growth and advance of our culture," Nike CEO and chairman Mark Parker said in the internal communication obtained by ESPN. "This disturbs and saddens me."
While the note did not specifically implicate Edwards, Parker did say that he "determined to make the necessary changes so that our culture and our company can evolve and grow."
Parker wrote that the company had talked to "strong and courageous employees" and that it was his wish that Nike foster an environment where issues can be brought up as soon as they occur. To that end, Nike introduced a confidential email and phone number that employees could call if they felt threatened.
Edwards, the No. 2 employee at the world's largest shoe and apparel company, was responsible for managing Nike's sales units across the world, its wholesale, retail and e-commerce business. Although he was at the company since 1992, sources say there has been no outward talk that the 55-year-old Edwards was ready to retire and the high position that he holds at the company normally includes a greater wind-down before retirement.
In a news release, Parker committed, for the first time, to being chairman and CEO of the company beyond 2020.
Sources tell ESPN that Jayme Martin, general manager of Nike global categories, is also leaving. Edwards was his direct report.