On Thursday, Chairman and CEO Philip Knight announced he is turning over Nike's
The outgoing boss's story starts with Knight and partner Bill Bowerman developing shoes for runners, with Knight peddling them from the trunk of his car at track meets, and ends with one of the most powerful brands in the world. Knight was a masterful businessman who revolutionized how to sell sports apparel and equipment. You only need to remember Mars Blackman (played by Spike Lee), his main man money Michael Jordan (played by his Airness), and the "Just Do It" campaign to know that Nike is different from the rest.
From the press release, Perez clearly relishes the honor of getting to wear the "C" on his Nike sweater (for those unfamiliar with the Bauer Nike Hockey line, and hockey in general, the on-ice captain is signified with a "C" on his jersey). And I think shareholders should be stoked as well.
S.C. Johnson is one of the best consumer products companies in the world today. It has a very disciplined product development process, coming up with some of the most innovative and useful products. It is heralded as one of the premier places to work as a marketer. And to top it off, S.C. Johnson is known to have a very competitive culture. Just ask Procter and Gamble
So, it's nice to know that Perez rose through the ranks and touched almost every functional part of S.C. Johnson. He knows sales, marketing, brand management, and operations, and has the experience of putting it all together to lead a company. Time will certainly determine if Perez is successful or not, but I think the search committee found a great man for the job. They found someone who shares the same enthusiasm for sports (he is a marathon runner), who knows how to brainwash people into buying goods, and who knows how to lead a creative, competitive culture. What more could Nike shareholders ask for?
So farewell, Phil. Thanks for pouring your heart and soul into Nike and for helping fund my daughter's college education. And welcome aboard William. You have some big shoes to fill.
Fool contributor David Meier owns shares of Nike and a bunch of stuff the company makes. He does not own shares in any of the other companies mentioned.