Ahead of the company’s annual meeting next month, National Legal and Policy Center is asking its fellow investors to vote against the re-elections of Mark Parker, the executive chairman, and Tim Cook, the lead independent director, as members of the board at Nike, Inc.
The nonprofit shareholder, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, argues that both Parker and Cook have never been held accountable for human rights and sexual harassment scandals on their watches, and are also overcommitted with major responsibilities as top executives at other corporations. Parker is also executive chairman for The Walt Disney Company, and Cook is chief executive officer for Apple Inc.
“Mark Parker is now double-dipping on ‘woke’ as the top dog at two Left Coast-based, extremist companies – Nike and Disney,” said Paul Chesser, director of the Corporate Integrity Project for NLPC. “And Tim Cook was caught with his pants down in China late last year during its Zero COVID phase, costing Apple millions of dollars in sales due to production shutdowns. Both Mr. Parker and Mr. Cook should not have such significant roles at Nike when they have major responsibilities elsewhere.”
As executive chairman of both Nike and Disney, Parker is tasked with leading both boards of directors to set the companies’ priorities and goals, while holding executive staff accountable. As Nike’s lead independent director, Cook is responsible to guide the board in Parker’s absence, to serve as his top outside advisor, and to act as an intermediary between the chairman, the board, and management.
Parker’s track record of late is anything but stellar – both Nike and Disney have underperformed the S&P 500 index in recent years. Disney is embroiled in several controversies, conflicts and business challenges, including: a failed CEO succession; media, streaming and entertainment industry headwinds; foolish forays into divisive political issues; off-putting, anti-family social stances; and a host of other problems that Parker is expected to help resolve. Meanwhile Nike has been challenged about its alleged use of forced labor in China, and widespread sexual harassment allegations which led to the departure of several executives – all on Parker’s watch when he was CEO.
Cook leads the largest corporation in the world, Apple, which has an estimated $3 trillion-plus market capitalization. The tech giant has had its own accusations regarding coerced labor in its China-dependent supply chain, as well as sexual harassment allegations. Does he really have time to keep an eye on the performance and decision-making at the global athleticwear leader?
“Mr. Parker and Mr. Cook bear material responsibility for Nike’s lagging stock price,” said Luke Perlot, associate director of NLPC’s Corporate Integrity Project. “Nike shareholders should expect underperformance when management alienates a large portion of its customer base with ‘woke’ policies, allows a culture of sexual harassment, and lends brand credibility to a genocidal regime.”
For more information or to schedule an interview with the Corporate Integrity Project’s Luke Perlot or Paul Chesser, contact Dan Rene at 202-329-8357 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please visit http://www.nlpc.org.
Founded in 1991, NLPC promotes ethics in public life and government accountability through research, investigation, education, and legal action.
National Legal and Policy Center
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