Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike, Washington County, Ore., plans to step down as chairman after nearly 50 years with the company.
Knight, 77, says he wants President and CEO Mark Parker to succeed him as chairman, though the company does not expect to name a successor until 2016.
“For me, Nike has always been more than just a company — it has been my life’s passion,” Knight says in a press release. “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. Today, we have taken a number of important steps that will continue to promote Nike’s long-term growth.”
Knight has expressed a wish to remain involved with Nike, but he will transfer most of his stock to a limited liability company that he co-directs.
Forbes lists Knight as the 21st richest person in the United States and the 35th richest person in the world.
For more information, visit nike.com. — J.B.