20 Dec Adidas Disbands Digital Sports Business Unit
Adidas has discontinued its Digital Sports business unit, possibly impacting 74 jobs, according to reports from the Women’s Wear Daily and the Portland Business Journal.
The business unit supported the the development of wearable technology. Adidas has been active in the wearable space for over 15 years with the first commercial launch of sensor enabled footwear in 2001 and the introduction of real time coaching under the Adidas miCoach brand in 2008.
The realignment will entail the company consolidating some of its apps to focus on Runtastic and its relaunched Adidas app, which features AI-enabled shopping for a more personalized user experience. Adidas acquired the Austrian app maker Runtastic for a reported $240 million n August 2015.
The strategy shift is said to be in line with Adidas chief executive officer Kasper Rorsted’s plans for more digital experiences.
Asked by Women’s Wear Daily about potential layoffs, an Adidas spokeswoman said, “I don’t know that ‘layoff’ is the right word.”
The 74 staffers worked out of a few Adidas offices including Portland, OR; Germany; China, and other parts of the U.S. Conversations will be held with each of them about “hopefully finding them other places in the organization,” an Adidas spokeswoman said.