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January 24, 2006 - Nike chief executive William D. Perez resigned over differences with the company's founder and chairman, Philip H. Knight, and was replaced by Mark G. Parker, co-president of the Nike brand. Perez, who joined the company a year ago, said he and Knight "weren't entirely aligned on some aspects of how to best lead the company's long-term growth." Parker joined Nike in 1979 and is considered the visionary behind the Nike Air franchise and many other innovations, Nike said, and one of the key executives leading the company's long-term strategic planning.

Perez was one of five Latinos to hold a chief executive position at a Fortune 500 company in 2005, according to research firm Diversity Inc. "You see something like this happen and it is an incredible disappointment," said Alma Morales Riojas, chair of the District-based Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility.

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