Phil Knight, Nike Co-Founder, Will Step Down as Chairman in 2016

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 30, 2015

Nike founder Phil Knight, a member of the 2012 class of inductees into the Basketball Hall of Fame, waits to be interviewed by the media at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012.  Knight will be inducted into the Hall on Friday. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Jessica Hill/Associated Press

The Nike brand will be getting a change at the top, as co-founder Phil Knight is going to step down as chairman of the company.

Rebecca Jarvis of ABC News reported news of Knight's departure:

The Associated Press provided additional details on Nike's transition and possible succession plan:

Nike Chairman Phil Knight plans to step down, and says he wants President and CEO Mark Parker to succeed him.

Knight...says he plans to stay involved with the company after he steps down as chairman. Parker has been Nike's president and CEO since 2006.

Nike Inc. says it expects to name a new chairman in 2016, but no specific date was set for Knight's departure.

Knight, who turned 77 in February, co-founded Nike in 1964 with Bill Bowerman. At that time, the company was known as Blue Ribbon Sports. The Nike name went into effect in 1971 and has become one of the most widely recognized brands in the world.

Many of the world's top athletes from both past and present have marketing deals with Nike, including Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Manny Pacquiao. The company also has apparel deals with the NFL and many college programs around the country.

In May 2015, Forbes ranked Nike as the 18th most valuable brand in the world at $86.2 billion with Knight listed as being worth $24.3 billion.

Knight's contributions to the sport of basketball are so profound that he was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012. He's left a huge imprint on the sports world that few people have ever been able to match, turning Nike into the brand everyone wants to represent.

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