Chairman and chief executive officer Philip H. Knight today announced that Mindy F. Grossman will become global vice president of apparel, effective October 1, 2000.

Grossman, 43, joins Nike with over 20 years of experience leading some of the world's top apparel brands, most recently as president and CEO Polo Jeans Company/Ralph Lauren, a division of the Jones Apparel Group.

"Mindy has an excellent track record in building consumer-based apparel brands and she knows what it takes to be successful. Her proven expertise in brand strategy, product development and retail space management will play a key role in the expansion of our apparel business," Knight said. "We are committed to apparel as a major force in our global growth and the addition of Mindy, blended with the great talent we have all over the world, is evidence of that commitment."

Grossman joins Nike after nearly a decade of association with Polo Ralph Lauren. She has been president and CEO of Polo Jeans Company since 1995, where she was responsible for the brand strategy, launch and growth of Polo Jeans. She was vice president of new business development at Polo Ralph Lauren Corp where she worked on the initial concept and development of Polo Jeans.

Grossman was president of Chaps Ralph Lauren and senior vice president of Warnaco Menswear from 1991 through 1994 and is credited with the repositioning and subsequent growth of the Chaps business from $30m to over $150m.

Prior to her affiliation with Polo, Grossman was senior vice president of sales and merchandising for Tommy Hilfiger overseeing the dynamic growth of the menswear company from 1987 through 1991. From 1983 to 1987 she was vice president of WilliWear/WilliSmith following five years at Oxford Industries, ultimately rising to the position of vice president of sales for the Merona Sport Division. She began her career at Manhattan Industries in 1977.

Grossman is being joined at Nike by additional new members of Nike's apparel team, including:

  • Jordan J. Wand, 33, has been named global director of Nike apparel's advanced innovation team. Wand joins Nike after a 12-year tenure at Polo Ralph Lauren. His most recent position at Polo was vice president of RLX Polo Sport brand, where he successfully established Polo's presence in the functional athletic market.
  • Robin Lanahan, 36, has been named director of Nike marketing, US apparel. Since 1995, Lanahan has headed up her own consulting company. As a consultant, she worked on branding projects for a client list that included Ann Taylor, Sub-Zero, Nissan/Infiniti, Jantzen and Nordstrom. She previously held positions at Wieden & Kennedy and Chiat/Day.
  • Eric Wical, 43, has been named Nike men's business director, active lifestyle. Wical formerly served as vice president of men's merchandising at Club Monaco in New York City. He also has extensive
    experience in product development and merchandising for Warnaco, Calvin Klein, Jordache and Abercrombie & Fitch.

Knight said this new line-up of seasoned professionals is another example of Nike's commitment to not only be one of the world's most recognised brands, but one of the best run, fast-growth companies:
"We have a strong team of veteran and new players who are going to be infusing new ideas and even more energy into growing Nike, Inc," Knight said.

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