Parker has been chief executive at the sportswear giant since 2006, completing a long climb through the company ranks that began in 1979 with his work as a footwear designer. Parker has been noted for taking his practical know-how in shoe design and engineering and extending that through executive roles in Nike’s consumer product marketing operation. He also served as vice president of global footwear and co-president of the Nike brand — fixed in the public’s mind through the trademark “swoosh.”
“As CEO of Nike, Mark is widely recognized for driving the stellar growth of an industry-leading brand,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement. “His keen insight into consumers and his broad experience in international markets make him a great fit for the Disney Board.”
Parker said he was honored to join the Disney board and praised the entertainment conglomerate, saying it “has delivered truly elevated consumer experiences globally, inspiring generations with creativity and vision.” He added: “I look forward to working with this team as the company continues to set its sights on the future.”
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Parker’s appointment takes effect immediately. He will stand for election, along with other directors, at Disney’s annual meeting on March 3 in Chicago. The board has 12 members.
Besides growing Nike, Parker has overseen the company’s global portfolio, including Converse Inc. and Hurley International. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University, with a bachelor’s degree in political science.