Nike CEO praises Disney's Bob Iger, saying he's 'doing a great job' in his feud with Florida's Ron DeSantis

  • Nike CEO John Donahoe said Tuesday that Disney CEO Bob Iger is "doing a great job."

  • Disney and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are in a yearlong feud.

  • Donahoe said companies need to stand up for their values.

Nike CEO John Donahoe on Tuesday said Disney CEO Bob Iger is "doing a great job" in a high-profile dispute with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Speaking at a CNBC event in Santa Barbara, Donahoe said brands need to speak loudly when their values get attacked.

"I think Bob's doing a great job at this," Donahoe said of Iger.

Donahoe's remarks are the latest chapter in a yearlong feud that started in early 2022 when then-Disney CEO Bob Chapek objected to the DeSantis administration's "Don't Say Gay" bill. The remarks also show Nike remains willing to take stands on social issues.

Iger, who returned as Disney CEO in November, has continued to battle with DeSantis. Last month, Disney sued DeSantis, accusing him of trying to "weaponize government power." Last week, Disney scrapped a $1 billion campus in Florida that would have brought 2,000 jobs to the state. The Wall Street Journal first reported the move.

During his interview Tuesday with CNBC's Sara Eisen, Donahoe praised Iger.

"If it's core to who you are and your values, then no, you stand up for your values," he said, according to the CNBC report. "If it's commenting on some political issue that's in someone else's backyard, then we may have that personal feeling, but we don't comment on it with our brand and publicly."

Donahoe said Nike's values include racial and social justice, sustainability, and youth participation in sports, particularly among young girls.

In February, Nike announced $8.9 million in grants to support Black communities, part of an ongoing commitment from the Nike and Jordan brands to give a combined $140 million to address racial inequality.

Nike's also working to train 20,000 female coaches and moms in order to promote youth sports among girls.

"Turns out one of the biggest reasons girls drop out is they don't have female coaches when they hit puberty," Donahoe said during the CNBC interview. "So that's less of a controversial issue, but it's one we care about as a value."

Donahoe's support for Disney and Iger isn't a surprise. Disney and Nike have long supported each other and shared connective tissue. Nike Executive Chairman Mark Parker even serves as Disney's chairman.


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