Adidas appoints Bjørn Gulden, CEO of rival Puma after Kanye West fallout

Berlin — Adidas has named Bjrn Gulden, the CEO of rival Puma, as its new chief executive and he will take over the German sportswear brand in January as the company weathers the fallout from its split from the rapper formerly known as Kanye West.

Gulden will replace Kasper Rorsted, Adidas CEO since 2016, whose departure was announced in August. Adidas said at the time that Rorsted would be handed over over the next year, but said on Tuesday that he and the board had “mutually agreed” that he would step down and leave the company on Friday.

CFO Harm Ohlmeyer will lead Adidas until the end of the year. He is temporarily taking the helm after the company ended a partnership with Ye late last month amid outcry over the rapper’s offensive and anti-Semitic remarks.

Adidas, which followed other companies to sever ties with Ye, is expected to suffer a loss of up to 250 million euros ($250 million) of its net profit this year from the decision to stop production of its Yeezy product line immediately, and remains on searching for another star to help him compete with ever-growing rival Nike.

Gulden, a 57-year-old Norwegian who was once a professional soccer and handball player, has been Puma’s CEO since 2013. He previously worked at Adidas, where he was senior vice president of apparel and accessories from 1992 to 1999.

He was also CEO of Danish jewelery brand Pandora, managing director of shoe retailer Deichmann and President of Rack Room Shoes and is CEO of Danish food retailer Salling Group.

Gulden “knows the industry very well and has access to an extensive network in sports and retail,” said Adidas Supervisory Board Chairman Thomas Rabe in a statement.

“As CEO of Puma, he reinvigorated the brand and led the company to record results,” said Rabe, adding that the Adidas board of directors “is convinced that Bjrn Gulden will lead Adidas into a new era of strength and himself.” very much looking forward to a new era of successful cooperation.”

Puma, which like Adidas is based in Herzogenaurach in southern Germany, said its chief commercial officer Arne Freundt will replace Gulden as CEO.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Adidas appoints Bjørn Gulden, CEO of rival Puma after Kanye West fallout

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