Nike VP/GM of Women’s Whitney Malkiel Steps Down – Footwear News
Nike revealed new senior leadership shifts late Tuesday afternoon as Whitney Malkiel, VP/GM of women’s, has decided to leave the company, effective March 13.
In a statement on Tuesday, Heidi O’Neill, president of Consumer and Marketplace at Nike, thanked Malkiel for her contributions to the brand. “Whitney played a significant role in leading our women’s business over the last three years and in her more than 20 years at Nike,” O’Neill said.
Malkiel stepped into her role as VP/GM of Nike’s global women’s business right in the thick of the pandemic. In an interview with FN last year, Malkiel reflected on her career with the company.
“I had an opportunity to be at the city level in New York closest to the consumer,” Malkiel said at the time. “I worked in three geographies, and for the last eight years, I worked at the global level. I’ve had the opportunity to move between functions. That’s given me empathy for everyone up down the value chain,” she said.
With Malkiel’s departure, Amy Montagne, currently VP/GM of Asia Pacific and Latin America (APLA) will transition to fill Malkiel’s role. At the same time, Cathy Sparks, currently VP of Nike Direct for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), will transition to lead the APLA geography as VP/GM of APLA.
Montagne, an 18-year Nike veteran, previously held the roles of VP of global men’s, VP/GM of global categories and VP/GM of global merchandising. She has also held positions of increasing responsibility in North America, running, women’s training and sportswear. Prior to joining Nike, Montagne held roles in allocation, planning and merchandising at Gap Inc., Mervyn’s and Walmart.
Montagne also spent time leading the women’s category for four years. “That was an impactful time for me. It pushed the point of listening to the athlete and what she’s asking for,” said the executive in an interview with FN last year.
As for Sparks, the 25-year Nike veteran previously held the roles of VP/GM global Nike Direct stores, VP Nike Direct retail concepts, VP NA Nike stores, GM emerging markets DTC and GM Korea DTC. Sparks started at NikeTown Portland as a store athlete, and has held positions of increasing responsibility across four geographies.
“These changes will further build on our strengths and underscore our commitment to accelerate our women’s business, invest in our geographies, and further grow our top talent,” added O’Neill. “We remain committed to transforming Nike faster to define the marketplace of the future and unlock the next phase of growth.”