Hicks, 61, was appointed CEO in 2009, arriving from JC Penney, and he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that he is leaving “at a good time”, amid strong results and before the buying season for next year's Holidays.
He will remain the full-time executive chairman until May to help Johnson “craft the company's next five-year strategy”.
Although fellow directors wanted Hicks to lead Foot Locker longer, the CEO said he should leave "when things are good and you have a good successor”.
One challenge for the incoming CEO will be expanding more aggressively into apparel, the WSJ noted. Foot Locker's clothing business is making progress "but we are not anywhere near where I want to be", Hicks said. "Apparel can become a more significant part of our business."