Confirmed! PUMA CEO Bjørn Gulden is Taking adidas CEO Role
News on this release was first published on November 7, 2022.
Update November 10, 2022: adidas have officially confirmed Bjørn Gulden will be their new CEO! A press release has been issued, stating he will be appointed a member of the Executive Board and be made acting CEO on January 1, 2023. Effective November 11, Kasper Rorsted, the current CEO will step down, with CFO Harm Ohlmeyer leading the company until December 31.
Chairman of adidas' Supervisory Board, Thomas Rabe has issued a statement regarding the recent appointment: '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.'
As reported by German publication manager magazin, Gulden’s contract with PUMA is expiring at the end of the year, which has not been renewed. The Big Cat’s chief commercial officer, Arne Freundt, has since been promoted to CEO, effective January 1, 2023.
Gulden’s move seems increasingly likely, as adidas confirmed they were in talks with the PUMA head about replacing Rorsted, who had been in the role since 2016. He was due to hold the position until 2026, but announced earlier this year that he would leave in 2023.
According to reports, due to a non-compete clause in his PUMA contract, Gulden won’t be able to directly jump ship to adidas. Three Stripes CFO Harm Ohlmeyer is expected to hold the CEO role until Gulden can assume the position.