(Beaverton, OR) -- Phil Knight, the co-founder and chairman of Nike, is retiring from the company's Board of Directors. Nike President and CEO Mark Parker will assume the role of chairman effective immediately. The 78-year-old Knight announced last year that he would be stepping down. He will serve as Chairman Emeritus which will allow him to attend board meetings as an observer. Nike also announced that Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, has been appointed as the lead independent director of the board.