Puma’s chief executive Bjørn Gulden will replace Kasper Rorsted as Adidas CEO, the German multinational sportswear giant has announced.
Gulden will begin his role as chief executive on 1 January 2023 and Rorsted will step down on 11 November 2022. Rorsted’s departure is sooner than expected, as Adidas announced in August that he would only leave the company in 2023. Harm Ohlmeyer, the company’s chief financial officer, will lead the company in the interim until 31 December 2022.
Norwegian Bjørn Gulden has been CEO of Puma since 2013. In the past, he worked at Adidas in numerous roles, including as senior vice president of apparel and accessories from 1992 to 1999.
Additionally, Gulden was CEO of Danish jewellery 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 also holds the position of chairman of the board of Salling Group, Denmark’s largest food retailer.
Gulden was a professional football and handball player. He played football for 1. FC Nürnberg in the German 2. Bundesliga, and for Bryne and Strømsgodset in the Norwegian Premier League and handball for Haslum in Norway’s first league.
“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 of the supervisory board of Adidas AG.
Rabe thanked outgoing CEO Kasper Rorsted: “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 endeavours.”