A Nike spokeswoman said that the change wasn't a reflection on the creative work of agency Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., during Mr. McCarthy's two-year tenure. Mr. McCarthy said he had been told as much but was shocked by his abrupt dismissal and refused to elaborate on the reasons behind it.
The dismissal comes the same week that David Ropes, Mr. McCarthy's relative counterpart at Reebok International, announced his intention to leave. Mr. Ropes said he opted to leave after Reebok decided to divvy up his responsibilities--creating and implementing marketing and media programs--among the company's various operating units. His departure followed the promotion of John Watson, senior VP-apparel, to senior VP-strategic marketing.
Both Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Ropes said they are currently assessing their future options.