Former Puma CEO Björn Gulden will become the new CEO at competitor Adidas. Adidas announced in Herzogenaurach that the change would take place on January 1st next year. Puma announced the Norwegian's departure last Friday after a successful nine years. Adidas also confirmed talks with Gulden on Friday.
Kasper Rorsted, once celebrated for economic success but recently hapless at Adidas, will leave the company at the end of this week on November 11th, it said. Until the takeover by Gulden, CFO Harm Ohlmeyer will take over the helm at the three-stripe mark for the rest of the year.
For the former football and handball professional Gulden, the engagement at Adidas is a return. From 1992 to 1999 he was responsible for clothing and accessories. Gulden was also the German managing director of the shoe retailer Deichmann and chairman of the board of the Danish jewelery manufacturer Pandora as well as manager at the outdoor brand Helly Hansen.
However, the move to Adidas comes as a surprise. Puma and Adidas have been rivals for decades. The founder brothers Adolf (Adidas) and Rudolf (Puma) Dassler were considered deeply at odds.
Rorsted's departure from Adidas has been clear since August. Among other things, major shareholders blamed him for mistakes in the important China business. His leadership style is also said to have met with criticism in Herzogenaurach.