The National Retail Federation has announced that it will name Nike chairman, president and CEO Mark Parker “The Visionary,” a new honor intended to recognize outstanding retail industry leaders, during the 2017 NRF Foundation Gala January 15 in New York City.
NRF this year consolidated its former Gold Medal, Innovator of the Year and International Retailer of the Year into The Visionary award. The Visionary will be awarded annually to an inspiring leader with a long record of spearheading change in the industry. Each year, prominent retail executives will identify an individual who is a disruptor, dreamer, giver, influencer and power player who has changed and continues to transform the landscape of retail in a monumental way.
Parker joined Nike as a footwear designer in 1979 and has been at the center of Nike’s innovation ever since. In his more than 30 years with the company, Parker has served as vice president of consumer product marketing, vice president of global footwear and co-president of the Nike brand. In addition to helping lead the continued growth of the Nike brand, Parker is responsible for the growth of Nike Inc.’s global business portfolio, which includes Converse Inc. and Hurley International LLC. Since becoming CEO, Parker has more than doubled Nike’s revenue.
“There aren’t many trailblazers like Mark Parker in the retail industry or the entire business world,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of NRF. “Here’s a guy who took his love for running and footwear design and turned it into a successful career with one of the most iconic brands of our time. He is a leader, an innovator and a designer, and he epitomizes everything The Visionary stands for.”
“I’m honored and humbled to receive this special recognition from NRF, and I’m proud to be part of the team that is leading the transformation of sport retail,” said Parker. “With innovative retail experiences around the globe, we want consumers to get the very best of Nike in both our own stores and from our wholesale partners. Being a better retailer makes us a better partner, company and brand, and allows us to deliver on our promise to personalize performance for every athlete, everywhere.”