It was a Monday morning when Michael Donaghu, Nike’s vice president of innovation, got the call. Nike’s offices had closed the week before, due to the coronavirus, and he was just settling into work-from-home life. Now he was needed back at the office. Nike had agreed to provide personal protective equipment to the local Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) hospital, but there was one problem: Nike had never built PPE before. Like Ikea, Apple, Ford, and many other companies, Nike responded to the coronavirus crisis by turning some of its assembly lines over to the production of protective medical gear. To date, Nike has provided 290,000 pieces of medical protection to more than 20 hospitals across the United States, and it has done so by following one key rule: It has to add to the PPE ecosystem, not subtract from existing assembly lines.
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