Nike president and CEO Mark Parker is being lined up as the companys next chairman

Nike president and CEO Mark Parker is being lined up as the company's next chairman

Nike co-founder Phil Knight is to step down as the iconic sports brand’s chairman next year, and has recommended that current Nike chief executive, Mark Parker, succeeds him in the role.

The chairmanship would be in addition to Parker’s job as president and CEO Mark Parker, which he has held since 2006, with an appointment likely to happen in 2016.

The company also named Knight’s son, Travis Knight, as the newest member of Nike’s board of directors.

Among the changes announced yesterday (30 June), Knight’s shares – which represent around 15% of Nike’s total shares – are being transferred to a new entity, Swoosh LLC. Swoosh’s board will include Parker, and will have a governance structure to determine how the shares are voted and managed going forward."

"I have long felt a great responsibility to provide clarity and certainty for the long-term governance and leadership of Nike and for my ultimate transition as chairman," Knight said.

"I have worked closely with the Nike board in developing this plan and in identifying the most qualified person to serve as my successor in this role. I believe Mark is the best choice to succeed me.

"For myself, I intend to continue to work with Nike and look forward to contributing to its future well after my chairmanship ends."

With annual revenues of $30.6bn, Nike is the world’s biggest sportswear maker. Speaking last week as the company released its full year results, Parker described fiscal 2015 as an "outstanding" year for Nike, with revenues grow 10% year-on-year, and earnings soaring 22% to $3.3bn.

"Our consistent growth is fuelled by our connection to the consumer and our ability to deliver innovation at an unprecedented pace and scale," he said, adding: "At no time in our history has the growth potential been greater for Nike."