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Nike Names New CMO to Help Write Its Next Chapter

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For over 30 years, Nike’s longstanding chief marketing officer (CMO) Dirk-Jan “DJ” van Hameren has been helping the brand “Just Do it.” Now, he’s announced plans to retire at the end of 2023.

As it looks to write the next chapter of its marketing playbook, the sports giant has confirmed former company executive Nicole Hubbard Graham will fill Hameren’s proverbial sneakers as the company’s new CMO.

Her appointment was announced in a statement detailing an executive shake up at Nike designed to help it future proof the business against squeezed consumer spending and a fiercely competitive athletic wear market.

Graham already has 17 years of experience with the company, having held senior marketing positions across the Oregon-founded firm’s consumer, basketball and direct divisions between 2004 and 2021.

Post-pandemic, she left to co-found creative agency Adopt, which counts Lululemon, the North Face and New Balance-owned Klutch Athletics among its clients.

A marketing, design and innovation shake up

The business made other promotions across its product innovation and design departments too, in what it said was a move to help its product innovation, design excellence and powerful storytelling while it serves consumers “at speed and scale.”

In line with this, 30-year Nike design exec John Hoke will become its first chief innovation officer, working closely with Tom Clarke, president of innovation, to bring new products and services to buyers.

Martin Lotti will take over the design team, overseeing all aspects of design, from footwear and apparel to brand and retail concepts.

Elsewhere, Dr. Muge Erdirik Dogan will join Nike from Amazon as chief technology officer (CTO) to strengthen the “speed, efficiency, and quality” of Nike’s consumer experiences through its products, platforms and services.

“Innovation, design, and storytelling have always been the heart and soul of Nike. These leadership changes enable us to obsess further our unparalleled innovation, product, design, and storytelling to reimagine sport for the next generation of athletes,” said Heidi O’Neill, president, consumer, product and brand at Nike. “Together, these leaders will deliver new levels of performance, style and breakthrough storytelling for consumers around the world.”

As the swoosh re-engineers its executive team, some Nike employees have taken to LinkedIn to say their creative and digital roles have been made redundant in the process.

One staffer claimed around 70 contracts within the Nike brand creative team had been “laid off,” while several other former colleagues wrote to express solidarity with those who had been impacted by the cuts.

Adweek has contacted Nike to confirm how the cuts have impacted the marketing team. At the time of publication, it had not yet responded.

Future-proofing the Swoosh

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