Adidas Pirates CEO Who Turned Rival Puma Around
Adidas has appointed the head of Puma to succeed outgoing CEO Kasper Rorsted, betting on his ability to replicate its crosstown rival’s comeback, Hanna Ziady reported for CNN.
Photo Insert: Gulden, who has been CEO of Puma since 2013, is credited with engineering a turnaround at the smaller sports company.
Norwegian Bjørn Gulden, 57, will become CEO of Adidas on January 1, 2023, the German sportswear brand said in a statement on Tuesday. Shares of the company gained around 1% in Frankfurt.
The announcement was widely expected after Adidas confirmed on Friday that it was in talks with Gulden, news that sent its stock up 20%. Adidas and Puma are based in the Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach, where they were founded in 1948 by feuding brothers Adi and Rudolf Dassler.
Gulden, who has been CEO of Puma since 2013, is credited with engineering a turnaround at the smaller sports company, which reported its highest ever quarterly sales between July and September.
He led the apparel and accessories business at Adidas for seven years in the 1990s. A professional football and handball player, he was also CEO of Danish jewelry brand Pandora and is chairman of Salling Group, Denmark’s largest food retailer.
“We are very pleased to welcome Bjørn Gulden back at Adidas. [He] brings almost 30 years of experience in the sporting goods and footwear industry,” Adidas chairman Thomas Rabe said in a statement.
“As CEO of Puma, he re-invigorated the brand and led the company to record results,” Rabe added.
Last month, Adidas lowered its financial guidance for the year, telling investors it would need to ramp up sales due to lower store traffic in the Greater China region and a drop in demand in Western markets since September.
It will also take a €250 million ($247 million) hit to its fourth quarter sales after ending a lucrative partnership with Ye, also known as Kanye West, over antisemitic comments made by the rapper, Julia Horowitz and Danielle Wiener-Bronner also reported for CNN.