Parker was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, the son of Elizabeth and Bruce Parker. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Penn State University in 1977. He is married to Kathy Parker and has three children, Jennifer, Megan, and Matthew. He ran on the Penn State track and cross country teams.
Career at Nike
Parker joined Nike in 1979 as a footwear designer based in its R&D facility in Exeter, New Hampshire. He became Division Vice President in charge of development in 1987, Corporate Vice President in 1989, General Manager in 1993, and Vice President of Global Footwear in 1998. Prior to becoming vice president of Nike, he served as co-president (with Charlie Denson) of the Nike brand beginning in March 2001. He still participates in shoe design, most notably on the Nike HTM project, creating limited edition footwear alongside Nike designer Tinker Hatfield and creative consultant Hiroshi Fujiwara. He has committed to ensuring that Nike remain environmentally conscious. After 10 years of work, Parker and his team launched the first “Green Shoe” that adheres to the principles of sustainability. He is also responsible for other brands in Nike’s portfolio, including Converse Inc. and Hurley International.
While CEO of Nike in 2012, Mark G. Parker earned a total compensation of $15,425,608, which included a base salary of $1,609,615, a cash bonus of $594,190, stocks granted of $3,500,087, options granted of $4,199,250, and non-equity incentive plan compensation listed at $5,522,466. After being promoted to chairman in 2016, Mark Parker’s compensation tripled to over $47.6 million – $33.5 million of which came from stock rewards.
In 2015, Mark Parker was named Fortune‘s Businessperson of the year.
It was announced in June 2015 that Mark Parker is replacing Phil Knight as company chairman of Nike in 2016.
In 2016, he ranked 14th in the New York Times‘ list of highest paid CEOs with an annual paycheck of 47.6 million.
In 2017, Parker took a 71% pay cut due to a year of pool sales at Nike and the layoff of 1,000 employees. Subsequently, he will earn $13.9 million this year from stock and options.
Parker is an avid arts supporter with an extensive ongoing collection of modern, low brow and underground contemporary art, along with many other one-of-a-kind collectibles. Notable artists from Parker’s collection include Andy Warhol, Adonna Khare, Mark Ryden, Todd Schorr, Tim Biskup, Eric White, Sebastian Kruger, Charles Krafft, Glennray Tutor, Robert Crumb, Chris Mars, Sarina Brewer, and Michael Leavitt. Other notable items include rare movie ephemera such as original props and models from Mars Attacks! (1996), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Back to the Future (1985), and Batman (1989).