Phil Knight Officially Retires and Hands Nike off to Mark Parker
Started from the bottom and now he's riding off into the sunset. Phil Knight officially steps down as Chairman of Nike and taps Mark Parker as his successor. From selling sneakers out of the trunk of his car to becoming the largest athletic brand in the world, Knight's impact on the world will go down in the history books for the rest of time.
NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) today announced that NIKE Chairman Phil Knight has retired from the Board of Directors and the Board has appointed Mark Parker, Nike’s President and CEO since 2006, to the additional position of Chairman, effective immediately. This is the completion of the planned transition that was initiated a year ago.
"Phil’s impact on Nike is immeasurable,” said Parker. “His entrepreneurial drive is and always will be part of our DNA. Along with Nike’s exceptional management team, I am committed to leading our next era of innovation and growth as we serve and inspire athletes throughout the world.”*
The Board has also appointed Knight to the position of Chairman Emeritus, with a standing invitation to attend Nike Board meetings as an observer and to lend his experience and time to further the growth of Nike’s business.
“I could not be more pleased with the Board’s thoughtful execution of the succession plan, and am thrilled that an outstanding leader like Mark will head the Board,” said Knight. “I intend to continue to work to promote the company’s business in my new role for as long as I can contribute to NIKE’s success and long-term growth.”*
The Company also announced today that Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, has been appointed lead independent director of the Board, effective immediately. Cook has been a Nike director since 2005, is chair of the Board’s Compensation Committee and serves as a member of the Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee.
Knight today announced that he has sold his voting interests in Swoosh, LLC, the company he formed over a year ago to hold the majority of his shares of Nike Class A Common Stock, to a trust controlled by his son and Nike director, Travis Knight. After the sale of Swoosh voting interests, Travis controls two of the five votes on the Swoosh Board, with the remaining three votes exercised by Nike directors Mark Parker, Alan Graf, Jr., and John Donahoe.