Major investor Adidas has backed the idea of outgoing Puma CEO Björn Gulden to lead the rival German sports company.
Gulden “is a boon for Adidas,” said Ingo Speich, head of corporate governance at Deka Investment in Frankfurt, a major Adidas shareholder. The 57-year-old “brings much-needed skills to markets and capital markets,” Speich said in an emailed statement.
Deka is one of several shareholders calling for Adidas to bring in a new CEO who is more attuned to the creative side of developing popular new sneakers and apparel.
On Friday, Union Investment added its support. Gulden’s track record at Puma was impressive, and he turned a smaller sports company into one of the industry’s strongest players, Thomas Joeckel, Union’s fund manager, said by email. Gulden “would be the perfect successor,” he added.
Puma said on Friday that Gulden’s term as CEO ends in December and that it is appointing Arne Freundt, its commercial director, to succeed Gulden in the top job early next year. Gulden is a “potential successor” to current CEO Kasper Rorsted, Adidas said later in the day. Its shares rose 30 percent as investors welcomed the prospect of a leader who has boosted Puma’s reputation among fashionistas and athletes.
Adidas launched a search for Rorsted’s replacement in August before his contract expired. The company has since warned that unsold shoes are piling up and cut ties with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West.
Written by Tim Loch and Rainer Bürgin.
How Puma became a rare wholesale success story
For many years, the German sportswear manufacturer did not have a clear identity. But Puma has found success in multi-brand retail and established itself in markets where Nike and Adidas do not dominate.
https://www.businessoffashion.com/news/topics/two-adidas-shareholders-back-pumas-gulden-as-potential-new-ceo/ Two Adidas shareholders back Puma’s Gulden as potential new CEO