Phil Knight, chairman and co-founder of Nike, will leave his position and transfer his shares of the company to Swoosh LLC, a limited liability company. Knight recommended Mark Parker as part of the Nike Board of Directors, who has been Nike’s president and chief executive officer since 2006, to succeed him as chairman. Further, the company also named Travis Knight as the newest member of Nike’s Board of Directors.
“For me, Nike has always been more than just a company – it has been my life’s passion,” commented Knight.  “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.”

The succession process is expected to conclude the appointment of Nike’s next chairman within 2016.
Knight said: “I believe Mark is the best choice to succeed me. He 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.”

Knight has created Swoosh LLC, a limited liability company to hold the majority of his shares of Nike Class A common stock. He has formed a Board of Directors of Swoosh that will initially have four members, who exercise five votes. Of these five votes, two will initially be held by Knight, and the other three will be held by Mark Parker, president and CEO since 2006; Alan Graf, Jr., executive vice president and CFO of FedEx Corporation and a NIKE director since 2002; and John Donahoe II, president and CEO of eBay Inc. and a NIKE director since 2014. In the future, Knight may choose to appoint an additional director and assign one or both of his votes to that director.

Travis Knight (41), son of Phil, will also be appointed as part of Nike’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. Travis Knight is president and CEO of the animation studio, Laika, LLC, which specializes in feature films. He has been involved in all principal creative and business decisions at LAIKA since its founding in 2003.