Former Puma Chief Bjørn Gulden Officially Named Next adidas CEO

Following rumors that surfaced last week, adidas has now announced that former Puma Chief Executive Officer Bjørn Gulden will become its new CEO. Effective January 1, 2023, the announcement comes shortly after Gulden was revealed to be stepping down from his position at Puma and Kasper Rørsted announced plans to step down from the CEO role he held at adidas back in August.

Rørsted will be making his exit from adidas November 11, with Chief Financial Officer Harm Ohlmeyer taking over in the interim until December 21.

Bjørn Gulden has served as CEO of Puma since 2013, while also currently sitting as Chairman of the Board of Danish food retailer Salling Group. In the Past Gulden has worked in executive positions at Pandora and footwear retailers Deichmann and Rack Room Shoes. It is also interesting to note, the new CEO was employed at adidas in a number of senior roles from 1992 to 1999.

adidas Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Thomas Rabe, offered a statement regarding the hiring of Bjørn Gulden and thanked Kasper Rørsted for the strategic work he has done in the digital transformation of the company since 2016.

“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 is convinced that Bjørn Gulden will lead Adidas into a new era of strength and is looking very much forward to a successful cooperation.”

With adidas’ official announcement, Puma has expedited the promotion of Arne Freundt as its new CEO and Chairman of the Management Board of the company. Freundt joined Puma back in 2011 as its Global Director of Strategy, before being appointed as its Group Chief Commercial Officer in June 2021.

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