Just Stop Doing It: Nike Chairman, Founder Phil Knight to Step Down in 2016

Nike Inc, the world's largest sports shoe company, said Chairman and co-founder Phil Knight would step down next year.

Knight recommended that Chief Executive Mark Parker succeeds him as chairman. Parker has been CEO since 2006.

Chairman since 2004, Knight said in a statement on Tuesday that he would continue to play an active role in Nike even after his tenure ends.

Knight, 76, owned a 16.26 percent stake in Nike as of Dec. 31. He will transfer most of those shares, representing about 15 percent of Nike's common stock, to Swoosh, a limited liability company.

Image: FILE: Nike Founder Phil Knight to Step Down as Chairman
FILE - JUNE 30, 2015: It was reported that Nike chairman and co-founder Phil Knight will step down next year, and he has recommended Chief Executive Mark Parker as his successor June 30, 2015. Scott Halleran / Getty Images

Nike said it appointed Knight's son Travis Knight to its board.

The company, which Knight co-founded in 1964 with Bill Bowerman, has raced ahead of rivals such as Under Armour Inc and Adidas AG with its Jordan, LeBron and Kobe basketball shoe brands, popular with young Americans.