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It’s hard to imagine Nike, the world’s largest athletic apparel maker, without Mark Parker, the quietly charismatic, running-obsessed athlete-turned-footwear-designer-turned CEO. Parker, who had been chief executive since 2006, announced his departure in the fall of 2019, and was replaced by Nike board member and former eBay CEO John Donahoe in January 2020. (Parker, for now, is staying on as executive chairman.) That said, the hand-off was a smooth one, thanks to a breakout star: China. Nike reported revenue of $1.68 billion in Greater China in September 2019, marking five quarters of double-digit revenue growth in the region, driven in part by its investment in digital commerce. That digital strength has helped fuel the company through the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; while revenue was down 38% in the quarter that ended May 31, the company's digital sales were up an impressive 75%.
Emanuele Cremaschi—Getty Images
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