Phil Knight will step down as Nike chairman and has recommended president and CEO Mark Parker to fill his role, according to a company release.
Nike's board of directors expects the appointment of a new chairman to occur sometime in 2016.
“Over the years, I’ve spent a great deal of time considering how I might someday evolve my ownership and leadership of Nike in a way that benefits all of our stakeholders," Knight said. "Today, we have taken a number of important steps that will continue to promote Nike's long-term growth.”
Knight will move most of his shares into a limited liability company called “Swoosh LLC.” The 77-year-old intends to remain involved with Nike beyond his departure.
His son, Travis, 46, has also been appointed to the board of directors. He is best known for his work with LAIKA, LLC which specializes in feature animated films.
Knight first started Nike after running track under co-founder Bill Bowerman in 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports. The company was mainly a distributor for Onitsuka Tiger shoes and sales were made out of Knight's automobile. Knight was tabbed the 43rd richest person in the world for 2014 with a net worth of $23.3 billion, according to Forbes Magazine.
- Christopher Chavez