John Donahoe is the Chief Executive Officer of Nike, one of the largest and most recognizable athletic brands on the planet. As one of the industry's hottest CEOs, Donahoe has previously helmed several other major companies including eBay, ServiceNow, and Bain & Company. He currently holds the position of Chairman at PayPal Holdings, Inc., while also being on the board of several other organizations. A former athlete and lifelong sports fan, the 6'5” CEO received an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Dartmouth College.
As a Dartmouth man, Donahoe recognizes that his alma mater has had a tremendous impact on his success in the business world. The school, he explained, "Taught me to ask questions. It taught me to understand situations in a more integrative way. I learned how to engage with people who had different perspectives and that teamwork really matters."
Donahoe enrolled in the Ivy League school in 1978, widely regarded by his peers as a normal student-athlete – bright, focused, and quite involved on campus. The future CEO always felt comfortable in leadership positions, whether it was in his fraternity or leading his teammates on the basketball court as a member of the Big Green basketball team.
Earning a JV letter as a freshman on the squad, Donahoe had a decent single season, scoring 34 points and pulling down 32 rebounds. But it was a professor of business and ethics who changed Donahoe's outlook on life the most, encouraging the young man to remove the word "I" from his mindset, while employing self-reflection as a way to keep his mind and heart clear. In 1982 Donahoe received his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, graduating Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.
Over the years, Donahoe has strengthened his ties with his alma mater in more than one way. From 2003 to 2012 he served on the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College, and even chaired the board's Alumni Relations Committee at one time. He feels very strongly about giving back to the place that has given him so much. On a personal level, Dartmouth was where he met his wife, and it is also the chosen college for both his father and one of his four children. And earlier this year, the newly crowned CEO of Nike made another one of his campus visits for a “fireside chat” to kick off the Dartmouth Entrepreneurs Forum 2020.