Mark Parker, the American businessman currently serving as the executive chairman of Nike, was named the new board chairman of The Walt Disney Company on Wednesday, January 11.

He will succeed Susan Arnold, who has been serving on Disney’s board for the last 15 years. Arnold’s tenure on the board will end following the annual meeting of the shareholders which is due soon. According o CNBC, the size of Disney’s board will be reduced to 11 members once Arnold departs.

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Who is Mark Parker? 

Mark Parker was born in Poughkeepsie, New York to Meg and Bruce Parler. After graduating from Westhill High School in Stamford, CT, Parker went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Pennsylvania State University in 1977.

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Parker began working for Nike in 1979 as a footwear designer at its Exeter, New Hampshire, R&D plant. In 1987, he was appointed Division Vice President in charge of development.

He then attained the positions of Corporate Vice President, General Manager, General Manager, and Vice President of Global Footwear.

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Beginning in March 2001, he shared leadership of the Nike brand with Charlie Denson before being named vice president of Nike.

After holding the position of Nike’s CEO since the mid-2000s, Parker finally stepped down from the role in October 2019. He became the executive chairman of Nike the following year in June.

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Parker is married to Kathy Parker and together they have three children- Jennifer, Meg Elizabeth, and Matthew.

He is an avid art collector and his collection includes work by artists like Andy Warhol, Adonna Khare, and Mark Ryden.