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Phil Knight retires as Nike's board chairman

Mark Parker takes over board leadership in addition to duties as company CEO, president


KNIGHTNike co-founder Phil Knight has officially retired as chairman of the company’s Board of Directors.

The board has appointed Nike president and CEO Mark Parker to also become chairman, effective immediately, according to a company press release issued June 30.

The change officially culminates a move previously announced and in the works for the past year at the Nike World Headquarters, the Beaverton area's largest employer.

"Phil’s impact on Nike is immeasurable,” Parker said in the news release. “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 also named Knight its 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,” Knight said. “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.”

PARKERParker has served as Nike's CEO for a decade.

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 also 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 Knight controls two of the five votes on the Swoosh Board, with the remaining three votes exercised by Nike directors Parker, Alan Graf, Jr. and John Donahoe.