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Adidas CEO Says Top Team Now 'Ideal' After Management Shakeout

Chief executive Kasper Rorsted said his top team was now complete after the departure of two executives who served for years under his predecessor and the appointment of the first woman to the executive board since 1993.
Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted | Source: Courtesy | Photographer: Hannah Hlavacek
By
  • Reuters

BERLIN, Germany — German sportswear company Adidas' new chief executive said his top team was now complete after the departure of two executives who served for years under his predecessor and the appointment of the first woman to the executive board since 1993.

"The board team is now ideally set up. It is an experienced, international and diverse team," Kasper Rorsted, who took over as CEO from Herbert Hainer in October, told the Adidas annual shareholder meeting.

Under Rorsted, Adidas reported a bigger than expected rise in first-quarter sales and profits last week, outpacing rival Nike in North America and China and growing fast online.

Its shares, which have risen two-thirds over the last year to trade at a big premium to Nike, were down 0.9 percent at 178 euros at 0938 GMT after Adidas announced late on Wednesday it would book a charge on the sale of its loss-making golf business.

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Adidas announced on Wednesday that the supervisory board had promoted Western Europe head Gil Steyaert to global operations chief and elevated Karen Parkin, human resources head since 2014, to the executive board.

In March, Adidas appointed Harm Ohlmeyer as new finance chief, replacing Robin Stalker, who worked alongside Hainer for 16 years.

The other members of the executive board are global sales chief Roland Auschel, in the position since 2013, and brand chief Eric Liedtke, in his role since 2014, both who were touted as possible successors to Hainer.

Rorsted said on Thursday developing staff was one of his top priorities, adding he wanted to generally fill top positions with internal candidates. He also said he wanted to do more to promote more women, saying two women out of 24 top managers was not enough.

To that end, he has set a bonus-relevant target for all executive board members to increase the share of women in management positions globally to 32 percent in the medium term, from 29.5 percent in 2016.

By Emma Thomasson; editor: Susan Thomas.

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