Nike recently announced that Jim Calhoun, President and CEO of Converse for the past 5 years will be leaving to pursue other interests. Converse, which continues to be a highly ranked favorite sneaker brand with our Youth Culture Studies, has integrated a number of exciting marketing initiatives that keep the brand one of the popular in the world among 13-25-year-olds. Nike is bringing in Davide Grasso, who has been at Nike for 20 years as the new CEO and moving Greg Hoffman, to marketing officer of Nike.
What will be interesting to see is how the former marketing director of Nike transitions into the CEO of Converse which is an entirely different type of sneaker culture. While a huge part of Nike is usually performance driven (other than Nike SB), most of Converse’s appeal among young people is its association with music, lifestyle, and even skate culture.
Christiana Shi, president of the direct-to-consumer business, will retire in September and be succeeded by Heidi O’Neill, currently VP of Nike stores. She will report to Elliot Hill who is being promoted to Converse’s wholesale and direct-to-consumer business.