Asics to Form Global Lifestyle Division

Asics to Form Global Lifestyle Division

Asics Corporation announced that it will optimize its global operations through the restructuring of the organization and the hiring of talented management leaders from around the world to boost its Center of Excellence initiative to accelerate business growth.

The Center of Excellence Initiative is an Asics strategy designed to strengthen its global business through the appointment of top talent to lead and manage its global categories from the most influential regional markets by category. These new global leaders will be hired based on their track record of experience from both inside and outside the industry, regardless of nationality or location.

Effective September 16, 2015, the Global Lifestyle Division will be newly established to lead global marketing for Lifestyle brands such as Onitsuka Tiger and Asics Tiger, and Europe will be designated as the Center of Excellence for this category. The Division will be headed by the newly appointed Senior General Manager, Torsten Widarzik, who will join Asics on September 15, 2015 from his position as CEO at German fashion label CAMPUS. Widarzik was previously General Manager at Levis Strauss in Germany/Switzerland, and Business and Brand Director of Nike Sportswear at Nike CEMEA, where he built the sportswear business across Central and Eastern Europe. Asics will drive the Global Lifestyle Business from Amsterdam, Netherlands, with Widarzik’s leadership.

Strengthening footwear and apparel business is also a key part of the business growth strategy following the appointment of Asics as Gold Partner in Japan for Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. To further accelerate growth, an organizational change will also be made to the Global Footwear Product Marketing Division. Effective August 1, 2015, the Division will incorporate design. The seamless integration of the product design, development and manufacturing functions will boost the development of competitive products.The reformed Global Footwear Product Marketing Division will continue to be led by Gerard Klein, Senior General Manager, who returned to Asics in August 2014 after seven years at Converse where he was in charge of the go-to-market strategy and merchandising in the EMEA market. Klein was the key driver behind 12 years of positive performance between 1995 and 2007 at Asics Europe.

Earlier this year, Asics also strengthened its Global Brand Marketing Division by welcoming a new leader, Paul Miles, Senior General Manager, who joined Asics in May 2015 from Nissan Motor, where he was Vice President of marketing and communications. Miles previously worked for Fast Retailing in France and Japan, where he was responsible for the market launch and expansion of the UNIQLO brand.

“The restructuring of our global operations and the appointment of top talent as our new leaders shows our commitment to accelerate growth as a global sporting goods company,” says Motoi Oyama, CEO of Asics Corporation. “I am confident that the Center of Excellence initiative will enhance organization’s capacity and effectiveness, and lead us into the next stage of growth.”