Nike Gives CEO Parker $30 Million Award to Stay for Five Years

Mark Parker
Nike CEO Mark Parker. Photographer: Lluis Gene/AFP via Getty Images

Nike Inc. gave Chief Executive Officer Mark Parker a stock award valued at almost 10 times his typical annual share grant, on the condition that he work for the sporting-goods company for the next five years.

Nike granted Parker, 59, restricted stock with a target value of $30 million, which he’ll receive if he’s employed through the award’s vesting period, according to the Beaverton, Oregon-based company’s July 20 proxy filing. He was previously given stock awards with reported values of $3.5 million each of the past three fiscal years, the filing shows.

Parker, who’s been Nike’s CEO since 2006, was endorsed by co-founder Phil Knight to succeed him as chairman next year when he retires. Parker will have to build on Knight’s legacy of creating the world’s largest sporting-goods maker as competitors such as Adidas AG accelerate product development.

Nike’s compensation committee, which is led by Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook, reviewed “Mr. Parker’s strong performance” and “the importance of retaining” him to determine the size of the grant, according to the filing. Shares of Nike have risen 46 percent in the past year.

“In granting this equity award, Phil Knight and Nike’s board of directors recognize Mark Parker’s exceptional leadership and his critical role in driving Nike Inc.’s growth strategy for years to come,” Greg Rossiter, a spokesman for the company, said in an e-mailed statement.

Parker joined Nike as a shoe designer in 1979 and has held roles in marketing and design. The company granted him a $10,000 bonus in fiscal 2015 in honor of his 35th year of employment, the filing shows.

Gross-Up

The company will foot the tax bill for the award, providing a $10,387 gross-up, or tax reimbursement, to Parker. Nike grants $10,000 cash awards, grossed up for taxes, in recognition of an employee’s 30th anniversary at the company, and every five years thereafter.

Sixty percent of Parker’s $30 million stock award will be linked to revenue and earnings-per-share growth from fiscal 2016 through fiscal 2020, according to the filing. He’ll earn the remainder of the grant if he’s employed through June 30, 2020, the filing shows.

Nike gave Parker a $20 million stock award in May 2012, which was scheduled to vest on the fifth anniversary of the grant date, according to a filing at the time.

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