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Looking for a Turnaround, adidas Makes Changes at the Top

The search for a new CEO is finally over
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Image via: OregonLive

Image via: OregonLive

While the brand's visibility in the U.S. seems to be at an all-time high, adidas continues to lose ground to industry leader Nike, as well as newer competitors like Under Armour. A year ago, Adidas Group announced that it had begun the search for a successor to longtime Chief Executive Herbert Hainer, who had struggled to meet profit targets, and consequently provoked investor pressure for change at the top. That change comes in the form of Kasper Rorsted, an industry outsider who formerly headed Henkel AG & Co., German company that makes cleaning and beauty-care products. Rorsted, 53, will join the adidas board on Aug. 1 and take over as CEO two months later, and the announcement has sent adidas stock soaring: it jumped more than 11% on the news, and closed up 6% on Monday. Since last Friday, adidas' market cap is up nearly $2 billion to $20 billion. It's believed adidas passed on different internal executives who were viewed as potential candidates for the top spot, in favor of a complete outsider who has never worked in the sports apparel business. Time will tell whether the move pays dividends for the Three Stripes in the U.S.