Nike´s CEO Says Remote Work Is To Blame For Innovation Slowdown

John Donahoe, Nike CEO, is blaming the company’s innovation slowdown on remote work.

He talked about remote work In an interview with CNBC’s Sara Eisen:

“In hindsight, it turns out, it’s really hard to do bold, disruptive innovation, to develop a boldly disruptive shoe on Zoom.” 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the footwear factories in Vietnam were forced to shut down. Plus, the company´s employees worked from home for two and a half years.

18 months ago, Nike´s teams returned to the office. “Over the last year, we focused on rebuilding our disruptive innovation pipeline along with our iterative innovation pipeline,” said Donahoe.

This conversation surged in response to criticism of the company’s products as of late.

The CEO said consumers can expect new product drops each season, as well as the fresh storytelling the brand has long been known for. 

The truth is Nike seems to be going through a tough time.

Investors have criticized the sneaker giant for falling behind on innovation and losing market share to upstarts like On Running and Hoka.

In December, Nike announced a restructuring plan to reduce costs by about $2 billion over the next three years. 

Furthermore, they cut their sales guidance as it warned of softer demand in the quarters ahead. 

Two months later, they shed 2% of their workforce. That´s more than 1,500 jobs.

Nike said the goal was to invest in their growth areas, such as running, the women’s category and the Jordan brand.

Donahoe insisted Friday that Nike is still “gaining share” and remains a dominant force in running and sports.


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