Months after announcing current CEO Kasper Rorsted will be leaving his post in 2023, Adidas appears to be inching closer to filling the role.
Rorsted’s likely replacement would be a somewhat unexpected one as Adidas confirmed today it is in talks with Puma’s current CEO, Bjorn Gulden, as a potential successor.
Adidas did not elaborate further in its announcement, but according to German outlet Manager Magazin, Rorsted’s replacement is even closer to being a lock than the company suggests. An industry source reportedly tells the publication Gulden is the only remaining candidate for the top position.
Despite most recently serving in the lead role for a competitor, Gulden has a history with Adidas. In the 1990s, he worked for the brand as senior vice president of apparel and accessories. He began his role as CEO of Puma in July 2013.
Puma announced today that Arne Freundt, its current chief commercial officer, will take over Gulden’s role as CEO on January 1 for a mandated four years.
The leadership shifts are especially noteworthy given the history between Adidas and Puma, who have had a decades-long rivalry after a falling out between brothers and brand founders Adi and Rudi Dassler.
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