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10 Things You Didn't Know about John Donahoe

John Donahoe

John Donahoe is a notable name when it comes to business matters. This is because he is both the President and the CEO of Nike. However, it is important to note that he has held other positions with other companies in the past. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about John Donahoe.

1. Born in Evanston, IL

Donahoe was born in Evanston, IL. For those who are curious, it is situated on the North Shore, meaning that it is one of the communities that make up Chicagoland. Generally speaking, Evanston is known for Northwestern University, which has a reputation for being one of the better research universities that can be found out there. Besides this, it is interesting to note that its population tends to be social liberals, not least because of its diverse population.

2. Fifth-Generation Irish American

Given his name, it should come as no surprise to learn that Donahoe can claim Irish ancestry. This is something that he shares with about 32 million other Americans. Something that is very interesting because 32 million is a much bigger number than the population of the Republic of Ireland, which was about 4.9 million at around the same time. Said statement would remain true even if interested individuals included the population of Northern Ireland because that happens to be about 1.885 million at around the same time. The sheer number of Irish-Americans can be explained to some extent by the impact of the Irish Potato Famine of 1845 to 1849. However, there was a wide range of factors encouraging Irish emmigration both before and after said occurrence.

3. Studied Economics

Donahoe's father was an accountant with Price Waterhouse, which no longer exists in the present time because it merged with Coopers & Lybrand to create PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1998. However, Donahoe didn't follow in his father's footsteps. Instead, he studied economics, which can be said to have something of a connection with accounting. After all, while economics takes a much broader perspective than accounting, it couldn't function without the numbers provided by accounting. As such, it tends to be useful for economists to have some understanding of accounting and vice versa.

4. Joined the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

When Donahoe was still in high school, he spent some time working for his friend's father's beer distribution company. As a result, Donahoe became a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which is sometimes called the Teamsters Union instead. The "International" in International Brotherhood of Teamsters is true but a bit misleading. This is because the union operates in both the United States and Canada but has no presence beyond those two countries. Regardless, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters has been a notable force for some time, seeing as how it was founded in 1903. Furthermore, while unions are much less powerful in the present than in the past, it can still claim 1.3 million members.

5. Worked As a Consultant

Before Donahoe became an executive, he spent a very long time working as a consultant with Bain & Company, which is one of the more notable names in the field. In total, he spent 20 years with said consulting firm. However, it is important to note that Donahoe wasn't always a consultant in said period of time. After all, he had become both the President and the CEO of Bain & Company before leaving for opportunities elsewhere.

6. Worked At eBay

For those who are curious, Donahoe left Bain & Company to work at eBay. Initially, he was the one responsible for running eBay Marketplaces, which was a position of considerable importance because said segment produced a huge share of the company's overall revenues. Soon enough, Donahoe had become the CEO of eBay. During his tenure, he was notable for having overseen more than 40 acquisitions. This is no small feat because acquisitions aren't complete with just the purchase. Instead, there is the process of integrating the purchase as well. Something that has a notorious reputation for potential complications for very good reasons.

7. Worked At ServiceNow

Speaking of which, Donahoe also spent some time running ServiceNow, which he became familiar with when he was still running eBay. For those who are curious, ServiceNow is a software company that offers commercial clients the use of a cloud computing platform that helps out with the management of digital workflows. It is one of those companies that started out with a single employee before managing to go public within a decade's time. The fact that ServiceNow's IPO managed to raise $210 million speaks volumes about the perception of its product's prospects.

8. Thinks that His 50s, 60s, and 70s Should Be Some of His Most Productive Time

After eBay, Donahoe spent some time finding himself with the help of experts as well as likeminded individuals. One of the lessons that he came away with was the notion that his 50s, 60s, and 70s should be some of the most productive time in his life. Essentially, this is because Donahoe's age means that he should have experience, the freedom to choose where he wants to use that experience, and the ability to do so based on a sense of service rather than a sense of ego.

9. Learned that He Should Spend More Time with Younger People

Apparently, Donahoe also learned that he should spend more time with younger people. A lot of the other people that were seeking the same thing did so through either coaching or volunteering, which made them feel better than just spending 100 percent of their spare time with people of the same age.

10. Not Quite a Newcomer to Nike

Donahoe became the President and CEO of Nike in very recent times. However, he wasn't exactly a newcomer to the company. After all, Donahoe had been a member of its Board of Directors since 2014. As such, he had a fair amount of familiarity with its operations even before making the transition to becoming a full-time member of Nike's executive team.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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