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Adidas appoints head of rival Puma as its new CEO | ECONOMY

Adidas has appointed Bjørn Gulden, the CEO of rival Puma, as CEO, who will take over the reins of the German sportswear company in January as the firm grapples with the fallout from cutting ties with rapper Ye earlier known as Kanye West.

Gulden will replace Kasper Rorsted, who has been CEO of Adidas since 2016 and whose departure was announced in August. Adidas said at the time that Rorsted would hand over the reins sometime next year, but on Tuesday indicated that he and the board of directors “mutually agreed” who would leave office on Friday.

Chief Financial Officer Harm Ohlmeyer will run Adidas until the end of the year. He will temporarily take over after the company cut ties with Ye late last month over his offensive and anti-Semitic comments.

It is estimated that Adidas will lose net income of about 250 million euros (dollars) this year as a result of its decision to immediately cease production of Yeezy products. The company also now has to find another celebrity to help it compete with Nike.

Gulden, a 57-year-old Norwegian and a former professional soccer and handball player, has been CEO of Puma since 2013. He has worked at Adidas before and was its senior vice president for apparel and accessories from 1992 to 1999.

He was also CEO of the Danish jewelry company Pandora, manager of the shoe company Deichmann and president of Rack Room Shoes, and is chairman of the board of the Danish food company Salling Group.

Gulden”knows the industry extremely well and benefits from a strong network in sports and retail”, said in a statement the supervisor of the board of directors of Adidas, Thomas Rabe.

Source: Associated Press

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