Phil Knight stepped down today as president and chief executive officer of Nike Inc., the athletic shoe and clothing company he co-founded in 1972 with Bill Bowerman.
Knight will be succeeded by William D. Perez, head of S.C. Johnson and Son, who will become CEO and director for Nike effective December 28 of this year.
Knight will remain as chairman of the company’s board of directors, the company said.
“This begins an exciting new chapter in Nike’s ongoing business evolution,” he said in a statement. “Nike has enjoyed tremendous success as we have grown to become a US$12-billion global company.”
“As I’ve said many times over the past three years, Nike’s current management team, led by Brand Presidents Charlie Denson and Mark Parker, is the strongest it’s ever been. With Bill, we will become even stronger.”