Former Puma CEO Björn Gulden will become the new CEO at competitor Adidas. The change will be completed on January 1st next year, Adidas announced on Tuesday in Herzogenaurach. 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.
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. The corporate headquarters are only two kilometers apart in Herzogenaurach.
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.