NEW YORK (AP) — Finally ready to step back and reflect, Nike Chairman Phil Knight has written a memoir.
The Scribner imprint of Simon & Schuster Inc. told The Associated Press on Monday that Knight’s book is scheduled for spring 2016. The 77-year-old Knight, who announced in June that he will step down as chairman next year, is known for his reluctance to talk about the past. But in a statement released through Scribner, he said he welcomed the chance to look back.
“For a long time, I have had requests — from a couple of prominent publishing houses and many diverse individuals — to write the story of how Nike began,” he said. “I had neither the time nor the inclination — until the last couple of years. Giving up more and more daily responsibility, I have found the time and the perspective. Or said another way: If I didn’t do it now, it wasn’t going to be done at all.”
Financial terms for the book deal weren’t disclosed. Knight was represented by Washington attorney Robert Barnett, whose clients range from President Barack Obama to Barbra Streisand. According to Scribner, the memoir will be “candid, humble, gutsy and wry.”
Knight’s book, currently untitled, will touch upon such controversies as working conditions at factories overseas. But his focus will be on the early years. In 1964, Knight began what became Nike in a handshake deal with his track coach at the University of Oregon, Bill Bowerman, and initially sold running shoes from the trunk of his green Plymouth Valiant. In Forbes’ most recent list of the country’s richest people, Knight ranked No. 17 with an estimated worth of $24.4 billion.
“Those from the early days at Nike were part of, and contributed to, an industry going through a revolution, and a world changing so dramatically, it is not likely a story like this will ever be told again,” Knight said in his statement.
“The lessons learned might be helpful to others — about life, business, resilience and risk. One way or another, everybody has a start-up.”