It has been 50 years since Phil Knight founded Nike.
Nike co-founder Phil Knight has built quite a fortune off of the iconic Swoosh, as we reported last March. However, at 78 years old he's probably more than ready for retirement. Now we have a date for that retirement, as Knight announced on an appearance on CNBC that he would be stepping down as chairman of Nike this June.
Current Nike CEO Mark Parker will replace Knight as chairman, while Nike President Trevor Edwards will take Parker’s CEO role. Knight has been making a masterful exit from the company he built from nothing. He’s timed the announcement of his departure with the release of his memoir “Shoe Dog,” which is out today. It is the first insight Knight has ever given into his business insights and his perspective on Nike’s growth in general.
Knight also plans on giving the majority of the $26 billion fortune he’s amassed throughout his life to charity. “By the time, you now, the lives of my children and their kids run out, I will have given most of it to charity,” the wealthy executive told CBS earlier this week. Even though Nike is often derided for making money off of low-income consumers, Knight’s philanthropy has few parallels among his fellow billionaires.
Other hyper-rich individuals could learn a thing or two from Knight. It looks like he’ll have a flawless ride off into the sunset.