A top Nike executive has stepped down after she was linked to her son’s lucrative sneaker-flipping business.
Ann Hebert, the sportswear giant’s vice president and general manager for North America, left her job Monday after more than 25 years at Nike, the company said in a brief statement.
Nike did not say why Hebert resigned, but her departure came four days after a Bloomberg Businessweek report detailed how her 19-year-old son, Joe Hebert, made hefty profits by buying coveted sneakers from Nike and other companies and reselling them on websites like StockX.
The younger Hebert got his start by flipping Supreme T-shirts in high school and went on to launch a company called West Coast Streetwear, which raked in as much as $600,000 in sales in a single month last year, the story says.
But the teen also apparently had a little help from his mom — at least one of West Coast Streetwear’s American Express credit cards was set up in Ann Hebert’s name, 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 snapped up at Nike outlets as well as mom-and-pop shops and other chains like Foot Locker and Champs Sports.
“We know that Nikes have the most variety in styles and the best discounts on their more select shoes,” Hebert’s shoe-shopping pal, Justin Taliaferro, told Bloomberg.
Nike spokesperson 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, privileged information or conflicts of interest.”
There is also no commercial affiliation between Nike and West Coast Streetwear, “including the direct buying or selling of Nike products,” Carreon-John reportedly added.
But that didn’t stop Joe Hebert from being inspired by his mom’s former employer — or using its shoes as a linchpin of his business.
Taking a cue from Nike co-founder Phil Knight, Hebert and a friend criss-crossed the western US hunting down the Nike kicks last year as the coronavirus pandemic crimped sneaker supply chains, Bloomberg reported.
Ann Hebert was named the head of Nike’s North America business last year after serving as the company’s vice president of global sales. In a press release announcing her new role, Nike said Hebert would be “instrumental in accelerating our Consumer Direct Offense” — the strategy of selling products directly through Nike’s website, stores and apps that ended up helping resellers acquire hot sneakers more efficiently, as Bloomberg noted.
Nike said Monday that it would name Hebert’s replacement “shortly,” but didn’t offer any further details about its timeline or who would fill her role in the meantime.