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Succession Planning Case Study

Case Title:

CEOs @ Nike: Succession Guaranteed?

Publication Year : 2006

Authors: Rupesh, Sumit Kumar Chaudhuri

Industry: Sports and Sports Related


Case Code: SUP0006

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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The world's largest athletic shoemaker, Nike Inc. (Nike), has been facing problems for finding a successor to its celebrated founder, Philip Hampson Knight. Three different CEOs were appointed in 1983, 1997 and 2004 and all three were shown the door in 1984, 2000 and 2006. The third time, Knight removed the incumbent CEO due to his inability to adjust to the Nike's unique corporate and work culture. These events have brought to surface succession concerns at Nike and Knight's possible reluctance to let go the reins of the company.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand the unique corporate culture at Nike that has developed around the working style of Phil Knight
  • To discuss the problems of stepping into the shoes of celebrated founder-CEOs

Keywords : Chief Executive Officers (CEO's) at Nike; Growth and evolution of Nike; Phil Knight's legacy; Nike's culture; Succession problems at Nike; Succeeding celebrated founder CEO's; William Perez at Nike; Swoosh logo; Succession Planning Case Study; Air cushion technology; Removal of CEO's at Nike


  • The Making of Nike: The Legacy of Phil Knight
  • CEOs @ NIKE
  • Succession Guaranteed?

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