Bjorn Gulden, officially leaving Puma for Adidas
Negociations have been ongoing for the last few weeks, but now it is official. After nine years as Puma's CEO, Bjorn Gulden will take the helm of Adidas as of January 1st. To replace him, Puma confirms the promotion of Arne Freundt, previously commercial director of the cat brand.
Bjorn Gulden will take over at Adidas from Kasper Rorsted, who will officially leave the group on November 11. Gulden is no stranger to Adidas, where he was previously vice president of textiles and accessories. He also worked for German shoe manufacturer Deichman, where he managed the American subsidiaries Rack Room Shoes and Off Broadway, before taking over the reins of the jewellery brand Pandora.
Even before the transfer was made official, Puma had indicated that Arne Freundt would be promoted to take over from Bjorn Gulden. Freundt had last year been promoted from the position of general manager of the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) to that of commercial director, joining the board of directors in the process. He had joined Puma in 2011 as global director of strategy, before taking over as head of retail and e-commerce.
Arne Freundt's appointment as CEO is effective immediately, while Bjorn Gulden's tenure at Puma runs until the end of the fiscal year 2022.
Gulden will join Adidas in a delicate period, the group having just revised downwards its projections in the face of the economic slowdown in Western markets and the impact of health restrictions in China. The group's net profit in the third quarter reached 179 million euros, compared to 479 million the previous year, due in particular to the "liquidation of activities in Russia".
Puma, for its part, posted a record third quarter 2022, with a 12.6% increase in operating profit. Sales are up 16.9%, at constant exchange rates, to 2.354 billion euros. This performance comes at a time when the group can already boast sales of 6.8 billion euros in 2021, compared with 5.2 billion the previous year.
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