Report: Adidas Investors Seek Outsider for Next CEO

Report: Adidas Investors Seek Outsider for Next CEO

Some larger investors are encouraging Adidas to seek an outsider to replace Herbert Hainer as CEO because “only an outsider can provide the shakeup the sportswear maker needs to close its longstanding gap with Nike Inc.,” according to a report from Bloomberg.

Bloomberg quoted top money managers at Southeastern Asset Management Inc. and Union Investment, which both own significant stakes in Adidas, as suggesting that an executive from outside the company would be the preferred choice.

In February, Adidas hired recruiter Egon Zehnder to find a new CEO. Hainer, who turned 61 in July, has been CEO since 2001.

Global brand head Eric Liedtke and sales head Roland Auschel are seen as the two obvious internal candidates to succeed Hainer, whose contract runs through March 2017. Germany’s Manager Magazin reported Thursday that Henkel CEO Kasper Rorsted has held discussions with Adidas about the role. Former Luxottica Group CEO Andrea Guerra was contacted this year as well, sources told Bloomberg.

The Bloomberg report is here: