Daily Management Review

Nike's founder is leaving the company


Nike company announced that its board chairman Phil Knight, thanks to whom the company has become one of the global leaders in the sporting goods market, is resigning. His place will be taken by current President and CEO Mark Parker. Phil Knight himself will become the honorary chairman of the board.

Achim Hepp via flickr
Achim Hepp via flickr
Yesterday, Nike officially announced Phil Knight’s resignation as chairman of the board. He has been one of the company’s two founders, and its ideological mastermind over the years. "Nothing can measure Phil’s influence - said new Chairman and CEO Mark Parker. -His drive has always been and will be part of our company’s DNA." Mr. Parker took over as general director and president of Nike in 2006, when Mr. Knight has decided to gradually move away from operational management of the company.

Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman founded Nike in 1971. In the early 1960s, Phil Knight, engaged in athletics, and his coach Bill Bowerman began to export Japanese sports shoes Onitsuka Tiger to the US, and then took up tailoring this footwear in the US under license. At the end of the 1960s, they came up with their own model of sneakers named Cortez. Subsequently, this model has been immortalized in "Forrest Gump" movie, and recently the company introduced a reissue of the cult model. In 1971, Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman stopped cooperation with the Japanese and started production on the own. The companions named the new company after the ancient Greek goddess of victory - Nike. Nike’s logo was also invented about then. Nike’s "Swoosh" was an impromptu of a student designer Carolyn Davidson. After several attempts to come up with a logo for young Nike, she just crossed out another bad logo with exactly the same swoosh. Bowerman and Knight liked the new "random" emblem very much. They considered the new logo concise yet very dynamic, accepted Davidson’s work and paid her $ 35 at the rate of $ 2 per hour. Now, Nike’s emblem is one of the most recognizable logos in the world. When Nike became one of the largest companies in the world, Knight and Bowerman paid Carolyn Davidson in full with the company’s multimillion-dollar stock options.

Now, Phil Knight will be the company’s honorary chairman, and will have the right to attend board meetings in an advisory capacity. "I am very pleased that the Board of Directors was able to complete the devolution plan. I plan to continue to promote our business in my new role as long as I can be useful for the company,"- said the founder of Nike. 

source: forbes.com