A senior Nike executive resigned after being linked to her son’s lucrative sneaker-swapping business.
Ann Hebert, the sportswear giant’s North American vice president and general manager, left her job on Monday after more than 25 years at Nike, the company said in a brief statement.
Nike didn’t say why Hebert quit, but his departure came four days after a Bloomberg Businessweek report detailed how his 19-year-old son, Joe Hebert, made sizable profits buying coveted sneakers from Nike and other companies and selling them on sites. web such as StockX.
Young Hebert started out swapping Supreme T-shirts in high school and later launched a company called West Coast Streetwear, which raised as much as $ 600,000 in sales in a single month last year, the story goes.
But the teen apparently had a little help from his mother, too: At least one of West Coast Streetwear’s American Express credit cards was established in the name of Ann Hebert, according to a statement he provided to Bloomberg. The card was then used to buy limited edition sneakers that he could resell at a higher price.
Hebert reportedly paid more than $ 200,000 for about 2,000 pairs of shoes he bought at Nike outlets, as well as family stores and other chains such as Foot Locker and Champs Sports.
“We know that Nike has the widest variety of styles and the best discounts on their select shoes,” Hebert’s shoe shopping friend Justin Taliaferro told Bloomberg.
Nike spokeswoman Sandra Carreon-John told the outlet that Ann Hebert disclosed information about her son’s business to the Oregon-based conglomerate in 2018 and did not violate any “company policy, inside information or conflict of interest.”
There is also no commercial affiliation between Nike and West Coast Streetwear, “including the direct purchase or sale of Nike products,” Carreon-John added.
But that didn’t stop Joe Hebert from taking inspiration from his mother’s former employer, or using her shoes as the linchpin of his business.
Following the lead of Nike co-founder Phil Knight, Hebert and a friend scoured the western United States searching for Nike shoes last year when the coronavirus pandemic ruined shoe supply chains, Bloomberg reported.
Ann Hebert was named director of Nike’s North America business last year after serving as the company’s vice president of global sales. In a press release announcing his new role, Nike said Hebert would be “instrumental in accelerating our direct-to-consumer offense” – the strategy of selling products directly through Nike’s website, stores and apps that ended up helping resellers acquire sneakers more efficiently, as Bloomberg pointed out.
Nike said Monday that it would name Hebert’s replacement “shortly,” but did not offer further details on his schedule or who would fill his position in the meantime.