Nike’s CEO is fed up with remote work

Nike CEO John Donahoe is chalking up the company’s slowdown in new products to remote work.Read more… …

Atmosphere at the Nike Air Innovation Summit held at the Palais Brongniart on April 11, 2024 in Paris, France.

Atmosphere at the Nike Air Innovation Summit held at the Palais Brongniart on April 11, 2024 in Paris, France.
Image: Dominique Maitre/WWD (Getty Images)

Nike CEO John Donahoe is chalking up the company’s slowdown in new products to remote work.

“It turns out, it’s really hard to do bold, disruptive innovation, to develop a boldly disruptive shoe on Zoom,” Donahoe told CNBC on Friday.

Donahoe, who took helm of the company in 2020, said that the COVID-19 pandemic played a significant role in the company’s operations, in part because it meant closing down factories. And it meant that employees had to work remotely for more than two years.

Advertisement

In October 2022, Nike’s teams came back together and “have been ruthlessly focused on rebuilding our disruptive innovation pipeline,” Donahoe said.

Advertisement

The 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris may be the stepping stone Nike needs to get a leg up on its competitors, such as Hoka and Lululemon. In March, Donahoe said Nike was falling short of “performing at its potential,” adding that it was necessary it “make certain adjustments.”

Advertisement

Donahoe said the company intends to release new products every season, which will be accompanied by a marketing campaign. The company appears to be making good on that promise. On Thursday, Nike unveiled its Olympic Kits for the teams it will sponsor at the games. It also announced the release of its new road running shoe, the Alphafly 3, and its more affordable Pegasus sneaker.

More retail news

Nike is betting on a Summer Olympics sales turnaround

Nike wants to use the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris to get a leg up

Lululemon stock tumbles as it struggles to reach American consumers

Costco’s gold bars, Starbucks’ quieter shops, and Nike’s Olympic hopes: Retail news roundup

Live Updates for COVID-19 CASES