BERLIN: Sportswear giant Adidas has confirmed Kasper Rorsted as the successor to the long-standing ceo Herbert Hainer.
From August 1 Rorsted will become an ordinary member of the executive board and, from October 1, chief executive officer – that is, after the UEFA European Championship finals and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Danish-born Rorsted, 53, has been ceo at the German DAX company Henkel since 2008.
As recently as November, Rorsted had said Henkel’s growth ambitions would keep him at the company until the end of 2017. However, he will join Adidas as a member of the executive board on August 1, in order to ensure a smooth transition at the helm of the group together with Hainer.
Igor Landau, chairman of the supervisory board of Adidas, said: “Kasper Rorsted is the perfect candidate to succeed Herbert Hainer as CEO of Adidas AG. He has extensive international management experience, having held positions with high-calibre companies such as Oracle, Compaq and Hewlett Packard. For eight years, Kasper Rorsted has very successfully headed up Henkel, a DAX company that just like the Adidas Group is known for its growth, internationality and sustainability.
“Kasper Rorsted is a passionate runner, skier and football fan. Therefore I am convinced that, together with the top management of the Adidas Group, he will continue the company’s dynamic growth strategy and lead the Adidas Group to new successes.”
Adidas launched a formal search for a successor to Hainer in February 2015. Hainer’s contract was extended to 2017 in 2014 with a mandate to work on a succession plan. Adidas has seen sales more than double since 2008, but the firm’s rivals have grown more rapidly, notably arch rival Nike, while newer competitors such as Under Armour have also made their presence felt.
Hainer will officially leave the company on September 30 and Landau added: “Herbert Hainer has done a tremendous job for the adidas Group. Under his leadership, adidas Group sales have tripled, net income and the number of employees have quadrupled, and the value of the company has increased from €3bn to €18bn.
“Yet it is not only the financial metrics that are notable: Under Herbert Hainer, the Adidas Group has become one of the most sustainable corporations in Europe and one of the world’s most attractive employers.”
Rorsted will come under immediate pressure to declare his opinions and attitudes to the ongoing scandals in international sport.