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Adidas Makes It Official With Gulden’s CEO Appointment

Adidas Makes It Official With Gulden’s CEO Appointment

Adidas AG reported that Bjørn Gulden, Puma’s CEO, will be appointed as a member of the executive board and CEO of Adidas AG, effective January 1, 2023.

On Friday, Puma SE said Gulden would leave his position as Puma’s CEO at the end of 2022 and hired Arne Freundt, Puma’s chief commercial officer since June 2021, as his successor, effective January 1, 2023.

Manager Magazin first reported that Gulden was in talks with Adidas, and Adidas later, on Friday, confirmed those discussions.

Puma SE on Tuesday moved up the timing of the Freundt era, announcing in a release that its Supervisory Board selected him as “chairman of the Management Board and CEO of Puma SE with immediate effect.”

On August 22, Kasper Rorsted, who has been head of Adidas since 2016, announced he would be leaving his position sometime in 2023 following the hire of his successor.

In a statement Tuesday morning, Adidas said Rorsted and its Supervisory Board agreed that he would step down as CEO and leave the company upon expiry of November 11, 2022. Harm Ohlmeyer, chief financial officer, Adidas AG, will lead the company in the interim until December 31, 2022.

Adidas noted that Gulden has been CEO of Puma SE since 2013. He has also worked for Adidas as, among others, senior vice president, Apparel and Accessories, from 1992 to 1999. He was also CEO of the Danish jewelry brand Pandora, managing director of Europe’s largest footwear retailer Deichmann, president of Rack Room Shoes, and held various management positions at outdoor apparel company Helly Hansen. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Salling Group, Denmark’s largest food retailer.

“We are very pleased to welcome Bjørn Gulden back at Adidas. Bjørn Gulden brings almost 30 years of experience in the sporting goods and footwear industry. As a result, he knows the industry extremely well and draws on a rich network in sport and retail. Bjørn Gulden already served Adidas successfully for seven years in the 1990s. As CEO of Puma, he re-invigorated the brand and led the company to record results. The Supervisory Board of Adidas AG is convinced that Bjørn Gulden will head Adidas into a new era of strength and is looking very much forward to a successful cooperation,” said Thomas Rabe, chairman, Supervisory Board, Adidas AG.

“We would like to thank Kasper Rorsted for his major achievements at Adidas. He strategically repositioned the company and fast-forwarded its digital transformation. In North America, the world’s largest sporting goods market, Adidas has doubled its sales. In addition, Adidas has strengthened its leadership position in sustainability and increased diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the company. Following the successful divestiture of TaylorMade, CCM Hockey and Reebok the company is now able to focus its efforts on its core brand Adidas. We wish Kasper Rorsted all the best for his future endeavors,” continued Rabe.