A senior Nike executive resigned after a recent news report revealed that her son had used his corporate credit card to help his lucrative sneaker reselling business.
Ann Hebert, who worked at Nike for more than 25 years, was most recently the company’s vice president and general manager for North America. A spokesperson told CBS News on Tuesday that Hebert “made the decision to resign from Nike.”
His 19-year-old son, Joe Herbert, told Bloomberg Businessweek about his operation to buy lots of sneakers and launch them for bigger profits. In one case, he said he rounded up more than 15 people to invade a website that sold pairs of the coveted Yeezy Boost 350 Zyon sneakers and then used bots to bypass a system designed to limit purchases to one pair per customer. He said he bought $ 132,000 worth of Yeezys with a credit card and resells them for a profit of $ 20,000.
To demonstrate the income his company was making, the teenager sent a financial statement to a Bloomberg reporter to obtain a corporate card from American Express, and on it was his mother’s name.
Last year, Ann Hebert was promoted to Nike’s vice president and general manager for North America, a move the company touted as “critical to accelerating our direct-to-consumer offense.” The strategy would decrease dependence on physical stores and push customers to buy sneakers in its application. As Bloomberg noted, the initiative “helped fuel the sneaker resale boom.”
However, a Nike spokesperson told Bloomberg that she disclosed relevant information about her son’s company in 2018 and Nike found no conflict of interest. Her son also claimed that she was “so high up at Nike as to be kept away from what she does” and never received inside information from her.
According to Bloomberg, Hebert shared information about upcoming online releases to paying subscribers in a group chat. He claimed that he had no inside information; instead, he said his business acumen simply stems from living in Portland, where Nike bases its US operations.
“If you know the right people here, this is the city to sell shoes,” he told Bloomberg. The right people “can give you access to things that, for example, a normal person would not have access to.”
Hebert’s company Instagram account features an image of hundreds of shoe boxes, containing some of the most desired pairs available.
CBS News reached out to the account for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.