Nike executive quits abruptly after magazine story about her son’s sneaker resale business

A senior Nike executive has resigned from the Beaverton-based sportswear giant after a magazine article revealed links to his son’s sneaker resale business.

In a brief statement, the company said Ann Hebert, vice president and general manager of its North American division, had left the retailer after 25 years, effective immediately. A spokesperson confirmed to CNBC that Hebert resigned of his own accord but would not comment further.

Last week, Bloomberg Businessweek published a cover story focused on Hebert’s 19-year-old son Joe and his company, West Coast Streetwear, which buys limited-edition, discounted shoes and returns them online for a profit. Sales have skyrocketed during the pandemic, prompting Joe Hebert – a University of Oregon dropout known in sneaker circles as “West Coast Joe” – to travel from Portland to Colorado in a moving truck to the search for goods in order to meet demand.

“Back home in Portland, they lifted the steel gate and a wall of orange Nike boxes spilled onto the sidewalk,” wrote journalist Joshua Hunt. “Hebert had spent over $200,000 on about 2,000 pairs of shoes, which he hoped would yield a profit of about $50,000.”

Hunt later discovered that Joe had used a credit card in his mother’s name to buy some sneakers to resell. Joe said she had no association with his company and that he “never received any inside information such as discount codes from her” and then cut off communication with Hunt.

Although Ann Hebert declined to comment Bloomberg, a Nike spokeswoman confirmed that she disclosed “relevant information” about West Coast Streetwear to the company in 2018, adding, “There were no violations of company policy, inside information or conflicts of interest, and there is no commercial affiliation between WCS LLC and Nike, including the direct purchase or sale of Nike products.”

Although she has been with Nike since 1995, Ann Hebert was only promoted to her current role last June. In announcing its promotion, the company said it would be “instrumental in accelerating our Consumer Direct Offense”, a program to redirect sales from wholesale partners to the company’s own apps and websites. brand – a move credited with spurring the resale boom, as it allowed pinball machines like Joe Hebert to use bots to grab high-profile shoes in larger quantities than going to physical storefronts.

The company said it would announce a replacement soon.

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