BEAVERTON, OR: Kirk Stewart, Nike?s VP of corporate communications for the past eight years, has announced he is leaving the company at the end of July.
Nike will announce his replacement shortly, Stewart said.
Stewart said he wanted to step down because ?the work I came to do has been done,? pointing to improvements in Nike?s reputation concerning labor issues.
?The business has never been stronger, and the stock is near an all-time high,? he added.
While he is retiring from Nike, Stewart emphasized he is not retiring from PR, and wants to take time to consider various opportunities.
?I came here eight years ago, and the company was dealing with the labor compliance issue,? said Stewart. ?I?ve worked with a lot of talented people to help get us to a place where we are beginning to be recognized for our efforts. We turned around a very difficult situation for the company. We raised the bar on corporate transparency.?
The fight over labor conditions went to the Supreme Court in 2003, when a consumer activist sued the company, contending Nike?s PR efforts concerning labor conditions did not deserve free speech protection. The Supreme Court declined to rule on the issue.
Earlier this year, Nike released a lengthy report disclosing the names and locations of the hundreds of factories worldwide that manufacture its products. It was the first such report ever from a major shoe and apparel company.
Prior to joining Nike, Stewart was chairman and CEO of MS&L.