Nike Loses Third Diversity Chief in Two Years



Jarvis Sam, Nike’s chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, has left the company after just five months in the newly created post.

Sam is the third diversity head to exit the brand in three years. In June, he replaced Felicia Mayo, who served as Nike’s chief talent, diversity and culture officer for just two years.

Treasure Heinle, vice president of HR Global Consumer & Marketplace, and Bernard Bedon, vice president and lead HR business partner, will manage the company’s DE&I portfolio until a successor is named.

“We are grateful for the work Jarvis led together with his team,” Monique Matheson, the company’s chief human resources officer, said in a statement. “That work has been instrumental to our progress. And while we are proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, we also recognize there is more to be done.”

At the time of Sam’s appointment, Nike had plans integrate the role of its DE&I leader into “the creation and execution of our people strategy,” Matheson wrote in an email first obtained by The Financial Times.

Sam joined Nike as director of diversity, sourcing programs in 2018 and was promoted several times before becoming vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion since July 2020.

His predecessor Mayo joined the brand in 2019 after serving as a VP and head of diversity at Tesla. She replaced Kellie Leonard, Nike’s first head of diversity, who similarly held the role for two years. Nike had tasked Leonard with shaping its diversity and inclusion strategy after a New York Times article described a boys club culture at the sportswear company, including accusations that women employees were harassed and passed over for career opportunities.

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Nike Diversity Chief to Leave Brand After Two Years

Felicia Mayo joined the brand in 2019 after serving as a VP and head of diversity at Tesla. She replaced Kellie Leonard, Nike’s first head of diversity, who also held the role for two years. Nike had tasked Leonard with shaping its diversity and inclusion strategy after a New York Times article described a boys club culture at the sportswear company.



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