Nike Founder Phil Knight To Step Down From Board, Recommends Successor

Phil Knight Stepping Down at Nike

Nike Inc. on Tuesday announced that chairman and founder Phil Knight will step down next year. Before leaving the company’s board, Knight recommended Chief Executive Mark Parker as his successor.

Mr. Parker “has been an outstanding CEO for the past nine years, and has demonstrated time and again his love for this Company and his clear vision for capturing the tremendous potential Nike has to innovate, inspire, and drive growth,” Mr. Knight said in a news release.

In wake of the announcement, Nike added Travis Knight, Phil Knight’s son, to the board. Mr. Knight, 41, is chief executive of Laika LLC, an animation studio.

Phil Knight also recently created a separate company called Swoosh LLC. That company holds 128.5 million Nike Class A shares, approximately 15% of the company’s outstanding stock. Swoosh’s board includes Phil Knight and Mark Parker. According to a securities filing, Swoosh LLC holds 75% of the power in electing new board of director members.

Last quarter Nike recorded a 4.8% increase in quarterly sales, while pressure from a stronger dollar weighed on revenue growth and future orders.

No further details about Phil Knight’s departure are available at this time.