Nike’s co-founder Phil Knight has officially stepped down as chairman after 50 years with the company, with his recommendation Mark Parker taking over as President and CEO. In addition to this important leadership change, Tim Cook has been named as the lead independent director after having served as chair of the Nike board’s compensation committee since 2005.
Parker released this incredible complimentary statement on Knight, saying “Phil’s impact on Nike is immeasurable, 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.”
In return, Knight said this of Parker “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.”
The two companies collaborated early on with the Nike+iPod, but in recent years haven’t made any significant changes to show a partnership between the two. With the recent release and growing popularity of the Apple Watch, it makes sense that a fitness collaboration should be upcoming, so we’ll be keeping an eye out for that one.