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Nike CEO John Donahoe comes under fire as stock sees worst day on record

Nike CEO John Donahoe appears to be on thin ice. 

The former top executive of eBay, who has been at the helm of Nike since January 2020, is starting to lose Wall Street's confidence after the company capped off a lackluster fiscal year with more bad news. 

On Thursday, Nike warned that sales in its current quarter were expected to decline by a staggering 10% – far worse than the 3.2% drop LSEG had projected – after it posted its slowest annual sales gain in 14 years, excluding the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The company also said it expects fiscal 2025 sales to be down mid-single digits when it previously expected them to grow.

The warning signs led shares to close 20% lower on Friday -- making it the worst trading day in the company's history since its IPO in Dec. 1980. The plunge wiped about $28 billion off of Nike's market cap, bringing it to just under $114 billion from $142 billion a day earlier.

As Wall Street digested the dismal outlook from the world's largest sportswear company, at least six investment banks downgraded Nike's stock. Analysts at Morgan Stanley and Stifel took it a step further, specifically calling the company's management into question.

"The FY25 guide (the 5th downward consensus revision in 6 quarters), pushes prospects for growth inflection further into 2025 (perhaps FY4Q or spring '25 at the earliest) asking investors to both underwrite success of not yet proven styles and look across an uncertain consumer discretionary backdrop into 2HCY24 until momentum could build again into 2HCY25," wrote Stifel analyst Jim Duffy. "Management credibility is severely challenged and potential for C-level regime change adds further uncertainty."

Since Donahoe took over as Nike's top executive, its stock is down more than