CEO on the hot seat: Mark Parker, Nike
Parker can focus on international opportunities, but will bump up against tougher competition.
By Jon Birger and David Stires, FORTUNE

NEW YORK (FORTUNE Magazine) - Beware the fury of a frustrated founder. In January Phil Knight ousted CEO William Perez, his hand-picked successor, after only 13 months on the job and replaced him with Mark Parker.

A Nike lifer, Parker has to grow the company internationally and build the company's other brands such as Converse, Starter, and Cole Haan. And he has to hope Knight grants him the autonomy Perez claims he never got.

Opportunities

You wouldn't know there was turmoil at the top based on performance. Earnings were up 25 percent last year, and the stock is near an all-time high.

Parker can build on Nike's success in women's apparel, make more inroads into the European soccer market, and turn Nike's presence at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics into a Swoosh coming-out party in China.

Stock outlook

Nike (Research) is trading at 17 times trailing earnings -- well below its 10-year average.

Still, the Adidas-Reebok merger may create a more potent competitor. And as Citigroup analyst Kate McShane notes, with a third of Nike products sourced from China, further appreciation of the yuan could drive up costs and squeeze profit margins. Top of page

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.