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A year after Spillane’s arrival, China began growing again, with annual sales up 5 percent. The region’s revenue surged an additional 18 percent the next year. In the company’s most recently reported quarter, China’s sales growth accelerated to 23 percent. The division also became more profitable,Air Max 360 polka dot with earnings before interest and taxes up 43 percent to $358 million, good for 31 percent of Nike’s total.Spillane spent less than two years in China before Parker promoted him in March 2015 to head global footwear, where Nike generates 60 percent of its revenue. In a little over five years, he went from overseeing Converse, with about $900 million in annual sales, to running a unit that generates $18 billion.

Under Spillane, the footwear unit remained the strength of the company, with sales advancing 17 percent, excluding changes in currency, over the three quarters through February. The company will report its latest results on June 28.A spokesman for Nike declined to comment on the chief executive officer race.In April,Air Max 360 polka dot Parker promoted Spillane for a fifth time by naming him to lead all product and merchandising. He now reports directly to Parker, just like Edwards and Sprunk.While Nike could look outside for its next chief executive officer, it is unlikely. The company did that once before, naming William Perez chief executive officer in 2004 to replace Knight. Perez lasted less than two years before Knight asked him to resign. The company then named Parker, a Nike lifer, as his replacement.

Parker learned the value of internal competition from Knight, who put him in a race with Charlie Denson for the top job.Air Max 360 polka dot Denson and Parker both joined Nike in 1979 and worked their way up opposite sides of the business. Denson started in store management and had several roles in sales and operations, while Parker began as a designer and shifted into marketing. In 2001, Knight named them co-presidents of the Nike brand, setting off a battle for chief executive officer that Parker won.Knight, 78, chose Parker because of his background in product innovation and marketing — the core of Nike’s success. Edwards, 53, has similar experience on that side of the company, which is one of the reasons he’s been considered the favourite. He joined the Beaverton, Oregon-based company in 1992 at age 31 as a regional marketing manager and a decade later had advanced to president of global brand management. Edwards was then named chief marketing officer before replacing Denson in 2013 as president of the Nike brand, which has long been viewed as the No. 2 job.