Two sports marketing executives resigned from Nike amid reports of inappropriate workplace behavior. According to Wall Street Journal, Trevor Edwards, the company president, stepped down from the marketing leadership role, and he will eventually retire from the brand in August. Jayme Martin also resigned from Nike as a vice president.

WSJ reported Friday that Nike received internal complaints about inappropriate behavior in its workplace. The company did not provide details of Edwards and Martin's departure, but Mark Parker, the chief executive officer of Nike, communicated with employees through written memo concerning workplace behavior issues within the organization.

"Over the past few weeks, we've become aware of reports of behavior occurring within our organization that does not reflect our core values of inclusivity, respect, and empowerment at a time when we are accelerating our transition to the next stage of growth and advancing our culture," Mr. Parker noted in a memo. "This disturbs and saddens me."

"Strong and courageous employees" deserved the credit for raising voices on important issues within an organization.

Nike plans to establish a review of human resources systems and practices, and embolden employees with the courage to take actions against inappropriate behavior in the workplace. Additionally, the Oregon-based company plans to focus on organizational diversity and reconstruct marketing leadership to drive business growth.

Reorganizing marketing leadership

Since joining Nike in 1992, Edwards was a marketer who was responsible for overseeing category and geographic business units across the country, its wholesales, retail and e-commerce enterprises. During his tenure at the company, he managed some of the brand's substantial innovation, digital sports training services, and social media accounts to interact with consumers globally.

Despite Edwards' exit, he will remain as an advisor for the company until his retirement.

In a written statement, Nike CEO expressed a great appreciation to Edwards for his work and contribution to the company for 25 years. Parker, who has been in the position of CEO over a decade, will continue to serve the company as a chairman through 2020.

Martin, who was associated closely with Edwards, worked as a general manager of global categories overseeing Nike segments, including basketball, soccer and running. The 25-year executive veteran has been with the company since 1997.

As a part of Nike's restructuring, Elliott Hill, currently president of Nike geographies, will embrace a new position and role as a president of consumer and marketplace, focusing on marketing, geographies, Nike direct and global sales. In addition to Hill, Michael Spillane will continue to manage all company's categories, design, products and merchandising.

Facing pressure

Larger cultural problems increased pressure on numerous corporations, especially on the world's most valuable brand like Nike, to address workplace misconduct matters. Retail and brand expert Liz Dunn told CNBC on Friday that she discerned the cultural problems of workplace misconduct in the era of Me Too and Times Up movements all over corporate America.

Dunn was quoted as saying, "In some instances, it seems it's almost part of the culture."

Separately, despite Nike's dominance in the global sneaker market, the brand has faced intense competition against Adidas in terms of market share in North America.

When Nike's sales were down, the company sought a partnership with Amazon that would enable its sportswear brand to sell products directly on the Amazon.com and reduce reliance on retailers in order to boost U.S. sales.

Nike eliminated 1,400 workers, including 745 jobs in Oregon.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!
Click to read more