American businessman Phil Knight, whose net worth is billions of dollars, was born on February 24, 1938. He was the company’s first chairman and CEO and is now the co-founder and chairman emeritus of Nike, Inc. With an estimated net worth of $54.5 billion as of July 23, 2020, Knight was listed by Forbes as the 24th richest person in the world.
He also owns Laika, a firm that makes stop-motion movies. Knight holds degrees from Stanford Graduate School of Business and the University of Oregon. At the University of Oregon, he competed in track under the direction of Bill Bowerman, who would go on to start Nike.
Phil Knight Bio/Wiki
|Birth Name||Philip Hampson Knight|
|Age||84 (as in 2022)|
|Sun Sign/Zodiac Sign||Pisces|
|Birth Place||Portland, Oregon|
|Date of Birth||24th February, 1938|
|Hobbies||Sports geek, loves to follow and play all sports|
|Mother's Name||Lota Hatfield Knight|
|Father's Name||William W. Knight|
|Sister||Jeanie Knight, |
Marital Status, Wife and Children
|Children||Travis Knight, |
|College/University||University of Oregon, Stanford School of Business|
Height, Weight, and Figure Measurements
|Height (Approx.)||5 feet 9 inches|
|Weight (Approx.)||82 kgs|
Extra Ordinary Features
|Race / Ethnicity||White|
|Eye Color||Light Blue|
|Favourite Food||Mexican Cuisine|
|Favourite Book||Imagine it forward|
|Controversies||Involvement with UO's athletic department has also generated criticism|
Bill Knight, a former lawyer who is now a newspaper publisher, and his wife Lota Cloy (Hatfield) Knight welcomed Phil Hampson Knight into the world in Portland, Oregon. Knight attended Cleveland High School while growing up in Portland’s Eastmoreland area. According to one version, Knight “went to the rival Oregonian, where he did the morning shift tabulating sports scores and every morning ran home the whole seven miles,” after his father refused to grant him a summer position at his newspaper because he thought his son should find employment on his own.
Knight continued his study at the University of Oregon in Eugene, where he was a sports writer for the Oregon Daily Emerald, a graduating brother of Phi Gamma Delta, and graduated in just three years with a B.B.A. in business in 1959. Knight graduated as a “Distinguished Military Graduate” and obtained his Army Reserve Commission in the same year.
He ran the mile (1.6 km) in 4 minutes, 13 seconds as a middle-distance runner at Oregon, where he earned varsity letters for his track accomplishments in 1957, 1958, and 1959. Knight formed the American running group Athletics West in 1977 along with Bowerman and Geoff Hollister.
While employed at Portland State University, Knight met Penelope “Penny” Parks, with whom he later got married on September 13, 1968. In California’s La Quinta, they have a house. In the 2018 Oregon governor’s race, Knight gave Knute Buehler, a Republican, $3.5 million.
In 2004 a scuba diving tragedy in El Salvador claimed the life of Knight’s son, Matthew. Travis Knight, a different son of Knight, is the studio’s director of animation. Phil Knight is the chairperson.
Phil Knight Controversies
Knight’s involvement with UO’s athletic department has also generated criticism. Student activists started planning an anti-sweatshop and fair work practises campaign in April 2000. They also urged school president Dave Frohnmayer to endorse the Workers Rights Consortium (WRC). Students started a sit-in inside Johnson Hall, the UO’s administrative building, on April 4, 2000.
Early in April, a gathering of students demanded that the Fair Labor Association (FLA) not be given any consideration by the university because it was thought to have been founded, funded, and supported by Nike and other businesses. Worker rights advocates had also criticised the FL as an example of dishonest public relations.
Following the signing of the one-year deal, Knight withdrew his $30 million pledge for the development of Autzen Stadium and stopped making gifts to the university. University President Dave Frohnmayer then entered into a new contract with the WRC. In a message to the public, Knight praised the FLA for having a “balanced” approach but attacked the WRC for having unrealistic conditions and calling it foolish.
Frohnmayer agreed with Knight’s claim that the WRC was providing unfair representation in the face of ongoing disputes with students, and in October 2000, Eugene Weekly quoted Frohnmayer as saying: “I would refuse to pay dues to the WRC based on a legal opinion from UO General Counsel Melinda Grier, arguing that to do so would be unlawful and subject the university to liability.”
Grier asserted that the WRC had not yet been established, had not yet registered as a non-profit, and had no public purpose that would have made paying dues appropriately. The Oregon University System passed a rule on February 16, 2001, prohibiting all colleges in Oregon from joining either the WRC or the FLA and requiring all schools within the system to pick commercial partners from a politically neutral perspective. Knight revived the contribution and boosted the sum to nearly US$50 million once the relationship between the institution and the WRC was broken.
Another contentious matter was Knight’s achievement in getting Pat Kilkenny, a former insurance executive, appointed as the university’s sports director. Kilkenny was untrained in athletic management and lacked a college degree. The Oregon University System passed a rule requiring all institutions to choose their business partners from a politically neutral perspective on February 16, 2001, prohibiting all universities in Oregon from joining either the WRC or the FLA. Knight reinstated the gift and increased the amount to over US$50 million after the university and the WRC’s partnership was broken.
The fact that Knight was successful in getting Pat Kilkenny appointed as the university’s athletic director raised additional controversy. Kilkenny had no college education and no prior background in athletic administration. He attended UO but did not complete his degree since he left the institution owing money for a number of credits. Kilkenny served as the chairman and chief executive officer of the San Diego-based Arrowhead General Insurance Agency before being hired by UO. He expanded the firm into a national operation and sold it in 2006 with written premiums of about US$1 billion.
Phil Knight Education
Knight continued his study at the University of Oregon in Eugene, where he was a sports writer for the Oregon Daily Emerald, a graduating member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, and where he obtained a business degree (B.B.A.) in just three years in 1959. Knight graduated with distinction and obtained his Army Reserve commission in the same year.
Prior to the success of Blue Ribbon Sports, which ultimately became Nike, Knight worked as a CPA, first for Coopers & Lybrand and then for Price Waterhouse. Knight afterwards started teaching accounting at Portland State University.
Knight joined the military right away after earning his degree from the University of Oregon. He spent one year on active service and seven years in the Army Reserve. Knight then enrolled at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he wrote a thesis titled “Can Japanese Sports Shoes Do to German Sports Shoes What Japanese Cameras Did to German Cameras?” that effectively laid the groundwork for his future venture into the sale of running shoes.
His goal was to bring affordable, high-quality running shoes from Japan to the American market. In 1962, he received his master’s in business administration from Stanford. After graduating, Knight embarked on a journey around the globe, stopping in Kobe, Japan, in November 1962. He found Tiger brand running shoes there, which were produced in Kobe by the Onitsuka Co., which is now known as Asics.
Knight phoned Mr Onitsuka after being impressed by the high calibre and inexpensive price of the shoes, and he agreed to meet with him. Knight had acquired Tiger’s distribution rights for the western United States at the end of the conference. Knight would have to wait more than a year for the delivery of the first Tiger samples; in the meanwhile, he worked as an accountant in Portland.
After finally receiving the shoe samples, Knight sent two pairs to Bowerman at the University of Oregon in an effort to get a sale and a significant recommendation. Knight was surprised when Bowerman offered to join him and contribute product design ideas in addition to ordering the Tiger sneakers. On January 25, 1964, the day Blue Ribbon Sports, the business that would ultimately become Nike, was founded, the two men made a handshake partnership agreement.
In a now-famous green Plymouth Valiant, Knight made his initial sales at track events all throughout the Pacific Northwest. By 1969, Knight was able to quit his employment as an accountant and devote all of his time to Blue Ribbon Sports because of these early sales.
Blue Ribbon Sports was renamed Nike in 1971 when Jeff Johnson, Nike’s first employee, proposed the company be called after the Greek winged goddess of triumph.
Nike’s “swoosh” emblem, today regarded as one of the most expensive in the world, was purchased from Carolyn Davidson, a graphic design student, in 1971 for $35. Knight reportedly commented at the time, “I don’t love it, but it will grow on me,” according to the Nike website.
For her contribution to the Nike brand, Davidson received an unknown amount of Nike shares in September 1983. When the business went public, Knight allegedly awarded Davidson “a few hundred shares” on the Oprah television programme in April 2011. At Nike, Knight became friends with some of the most well-known sportsmen in the world, such as Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan.
Due to its quick expansion following late 1990s commercial success, Will Vinton Studios sought outside investment. In 1998, Knight bought a 15% ownership in the business, and his son Travis, who had graduated from Portland State after a failed attempt at a rap music career, started working as an animator there.
Knight eventually acquired Will Vinton Studios and took over the company’s board with the help of Nike officials, citing mismanagement. Late in 2003, Knight added his son to the board. After Vinton resigned—and before receiving a severance package—Knight changed the company’s name to Laika.
He then contributed $180 million to Laika, and the company’s first stop-motion picture, Coraline, was released in 2009. Financial success for Coraline led to Travis Knight’s promotion to CEO and president of Laika.
Stepping down from Nike
The campaign to defeat Oregon Ballot Measures 66 and 67, which, if enacted, would have increased income tax on some companies and high-income individuals, received the most funding from Knight during the 2009–2010 period.
Nike and Knight announced in June 2015 that Knight will resign as the company’s chairman and that Mark Parker would take over as president and CEO. Knight left the Nike board at the end of June 2016, and his resignation became effective.
Knight made the decision to come out of retirement in September 2017 in order to restore the colour black to the UNC uniforms for the Phil Knight Classic in Portland, Oregon. Phil Knight’s Memoir is the book Shoe Dog.
Phil Knight Net Worth
His current net worth is $39.9 Billion. According to its 2021 annual report, Knight is the creator of Nike, the largest manufacturer of athletic shoes and sports clothing in the world with more than 1,000 outlets globally. According to Bloomberg’s study of regulatory records, Knight and his family essentially control the company even though they only own around a fifth of the company’s shares.
According to a July 2020 filing, Knight and his family possess around 230 million shares via the holding firm Swoosh. In his own person, Philip Knight holds 35 million more shares, according to a filing from October 2020. Through trust and its subsidiary, his son Travis Knight has to access to around 41 million shares.
According to Bloomberg’s investigation, Philip Knight is given credit for shares held by Swoosh and family members to represent his roles as the company’s founder and patriarch. According to Nike spokesman Greg Rossiter, for taxation reasons, he is still regarded as the owner. The Class A shares of Nike are not traded and are 1:1 convertible into the Class B shares. Shares owned by the charity foundation of Knight are not included.
According to a study of Bloomberg statistics, he has made billions of dollars via dividends and the selling of Nike shares. These earnings, together with taxes, market performance, and charity contributions—including $400 million given to Stanford University in February 2016—are used to determine the worth of his cash holdings. Rossiter failed to respond to questions about how Knight’s net worth was determined.
|Estimated Net Worth in 2022 (Approx)||$39.9 Billion|
|Estimated Net Worth in 2021 (Approx)||$66.6 Billion|
|Estimated Net Worth in 2020 (Approx)||$37.5 Billion|
Phil Knight Wife
While employed at Portland State University, Knight met Penelope “Penny” Parks, with whom he later got married on September 13, 1968. In California’s La Quinta, they have a house.
Phil Knight Height, Weight & Age
He stands 5 feet and 9 inches tall and weighs about 82 kgs in body weight. He is 84 years old as of 2022.
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