CEO Anne Hebert left Nike over an article that claimed her son owns a sneaker resale company.
Some time ago, Bloomberg Businessweek published an article that chronicled the rise of West Coast Streetwear, a sneaker resale company owned by 19-year-old son Anne Hebert, who holds a senior position in Nike. The author of the material suggested that the executive director could well have “leaked” various insider information to her son, thanks to which he received a significant advantage over competitors.
The sneaker resale business began to develop rapidly since the early 90s of the last century. Today there is a whole layer of "sneakerheads" - people in love with sneakers who are ready to pay a lot of money for unique models, the price of which often rises sharply during resale. For example, a pair of Air Yeezy "Red October" shoes can sell for over $15,000. Naturally, there are many companies involved in buying sneakers that appear on sale in order to create a shortage and subsequent resale. Well, since many stores set limits on sales, companies like West Coast Streetwear use special Cybersole software to bypass such restrictions.
Bloomberg's story, in particular, talked about a $132,000 deal to buy hundreds of sneaker models, which were then sold for a profit of $20,000. The American Express corporate card owned by Ms. Hebert was involved. It has been speculated that West Coast Streetwear may well have had more information about when and which sneaker models will be available. And this allowed her to more effectively turn transactions for their purchase.
And although there was no direct evidence of fraud in the article, and the owner of West Coast Streetwear himself denied any involvement of the mother, Ann Hebert chose to leave the position she held for 25 years. In the message, Nike got off with a dry phrase about her decision to retire. There were no comments from either side.