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Knight Officially Passes Torch to Parker In Nike Chairman Succession

Nike announced on Thursday that Nike chairman Phil Knight had officially retired, allowing Mark Parker to step into the role.

Parker, who has been Nike’s president and CEO since 2006, will now fulfill the additional role of chairman of the board, effective immediately. This marks the completion of Nike’s planned transition that was first announced last year.

“Phil’s impact on Nike is immeasurable,” said Parker. “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.”

The board has also appointed Knight to the position of chairman emeritus, with a standing invitation to attend Nike Board meetings as an observer and to lend his experience and time to further the growth of Nike’s business.

“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,” said Knight. “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 company also announced today that Apple CEO Tim Cook has expanded his role at Nike, and will now serve as lead independent director of the board, effective immediately. Cook has been a Nike director since 2005, is chair of the board’s compensation committee, and serves as a member of the nominating and corporate governance committee.