Gentry Humphrey, Jordan Brand’s vice president of footwear and a Nike employee of nearly 30 years, announced his retirement from the company on Tuesday, a sneaker industry source tells Complex. Humphrey will be succeeded in his role by Kris Wright, who will take over as Jordan Brand’s new VP of footwear, the source says.
Wright did not respond to a request for comment. Jordan Brand and Humphrey had no comment.
Humphrey began his decades-long tenure at Nike and its subsidiary Jordan Brand as a regional sales representative in southern California in 1994. He later moved to Oregon to work at Nike’s global headquarters in Beaverton as a product line sales manager for the sneaker company’s basketball division.
He is best known for his time with Jordan Brand, where, starting in the late ‘90s, he helped Michael Jordan’s namesake imprint come into its own by expanding its retro offerings and pushing for the creation of new colorways for old models. This once-novel practice of reimagining retro Air Jordans in new color combinations is now a huge part of the $5 billion brand’s business.
Humphrey had stints at Nike Sportswear, where he worked from 2010 to 2015, and Nike Golf, where he oversaw footwear from 2015 to to 2018, before returning to Jordan Brand in 2018.
In a 2015 story for Nice Kicks, Nick DePaula reported that Humphrey had then decided to leave Nike “to pursue other business opportunities.” The following month, DePaula wrote on Twitter that Nike had successfully countered, keeping Humphrey with the brand.
Wright, Humphrey’s anticipated successor at Jordan, has been with Nike since 2011, according to his LinkedIn. His profile there currently lists him as vice president of global mens’ footwear, sport lifestyle product. Wright’s past work includes contributions to Virgil Abloh’s “The Ten” collaboration and a two-year stretch with Nike-owned Converse from 2014 to 2016.
Before working at Nike, Wright spent time in the early 2000s at Reebok, where he was involved in its partnerships with 50 Cent and Jay-Z. Wright, per his LinkedIn, left Reebok in 2004 and founded a sneaker brand called Jhung Yuro.
UPDATED 8/18: Jordan Brand has provided a statement to Complex, from brand president Craig Williams, on the departure of Humphrey.
“Gentry Humphrey is a legendary member of the Jordan Family, and we are deeply appreciative of his many contributions to the Brand—too many to name,” Williams said. “He will be missed, but we wish him well in his next adventure. We’re also excited to welcome Kris to the Family, and know that our future is bright in his hands.”