Nike exec departures reflect a larger cultural issue: retail analyst

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A picture shows the messages ‘#Me too’ and #Balancetonporc (‘expose your pig’) on the hand of a protester during a gathering against gender-based and sexual violence called by the Effronte-e-s Collective, on the Place de la Republique square in Paris on October 29, 2017.

In a note, Sam Poser, equity research analyst at Susquehanna International Group, wrote that the news of Edwards’ and Martin’s sudden departures was “concerning” and that the “swift reshuffling at a critical time in Nike’s history is cause for concern.”

“Clearly, they acted quickly,” Poser said on “Power Lunch.”

Dunn agreed that it appears Nike is addressing the issues internally. But she pointed out that it’s a bigger fix than simply replacing two individuals.

“There are cultural changes that need to occur,” she said.

But Dunn said she does not think the market or investors are generally swayed by internal workings at any one company.

“Just as long as the financial performance of the company continues to do well,” she said.

While share prices of Nike immediately fell after the news of Martin broke, after-hours trading of the stock on Friday was up 0.2 percent.

“The problem is, when these companies come out, and they’re kind of vague and say there was a ‘conduct issue,’ … investors … start wondering,” Stacey Widlitz, president of SW Retail Advisors, said Friday on “Closing Bell.”

To handle the abrupt changes, Nike Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Parker said he plans to stay on longer with the company, through 2020. This could help quench investor fears of instability and transition issues, Widlitz said.



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