1. Corporate Strategy

Adidas Initiates Leadership Transition, CEO to Step Down Next Year

Adidas AG’s supervisory board has initiated a CEO transition, the sports retailer announced Monday. Kasper Rorsted will hand over the CEO position next year, and the search for a successor has started. Rorsted, who has been CEO since 2016, and its supervisory board “mutually agreed” on the decision. He will remain CEO until a successor has been appointed and ensure a smooth transition, according to a company press release.

Total Retail’s Take: Adidas is shaking up its leadership and “enabling a restart.” According to a company press release, the retailer aims to “focus its efforts on its core brand adidas” following its sale of Reebok, TaylorMade, and CCM Hockey brands. Compounding these moves were three challenging years marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, which impacted nearly half of Rorsted’s tenure as chief executive.

“The past years have been marked by several external factors that disrupted our business significantly. It required huge efforts to master these challenges. This is why enabling a restart in 2023 is the right thing to do — both for the company and me personally,” Rorsted commented.

In a statement, Adidas board chair Thomas Rabe thanked Rorsted for his “major achievements” and noted his instrumental leadership in strategically repositioning the company and accelerating its digital transformation. Now that the business is heading in the right direction, said Rabe, it’s “the right time to initiate a CEO transition.” However, the new chief executive will still be entering a comeback situation to right-size the sports retailer.

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