Adidas Names New CEO, Hainer to Exit Early

Adidas is looking for a clean break from its long-standing CEO Herbert Hainer. The German sportswear and footwear confirmed Kasper Rorsted, currently the CEO of the German soap company Henkel, will succeed Hainer later this year. Adidas AG shares soared almost 11 percent after the Monday morning announcement.

Hainer, under pressure from discontent investors after a series of profit warnings, will end his 15-year reign ahead of schedule. His contract was due to end in March 2017. Hainer has agreed to relinquish his executive board mandate in September 2016.

Rorsted will join Adidas as a board member in August, and will become CEO effective Oct. 1, 2016.

The decision came down after a meeting of Adidas’ supervisory board in Herzogenaurach, Germany on Monday. In a press release, Igor Landau, chairman of the supervisory board, lauded Rorsted for his “extensive international management experience” for companies such as Oracle, Compaq, Hewlett Packard and Henkel, a DAX company.

Landau also thanked Hainer for growing Adidas into a $19.6 billion company and for making one of the most sustainable corporations.

In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Union Investment Fund Manager Ingo Speich, said, “We welcome the appointment of Mr. Rorsted as successor to Mr. Hainer and hope that the long dry spell for Adidas’s profitability will come to an end.” Union Investment, the investment arm of the DZ Bank Group, is one of Adidas’ top 20 shareholders with a 1.2% stake in company.

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