Nike‘s cofounder,Phil Knight, announced Thursday, June 30, that he has officially stepped down from his role as chairman of the board, completing the transition he first announced a year ago.
Nike President and CEO Mark Parker will take on the role of chairman and Knight will serve as chairman emeritus.
“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. 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 78-year-old said in a statement.
Knight has had a storied career as he went from being a middle-distance runner, to selling sneakers out of the back of his van in the ’70s, to being the head of a multi-billion dollar company. When Nike was first started, it was called Blue Ribbon Sport but was renamed after the greek goddess of victory.
Not a bad deal for Knight and his old track coach, Bill Bowerman. The pair started the company by putting up just $500 each.