Seeking a ‘Restart’ Adidas Looks for New CEO

Saying it’s time for a restart, footwear company Adidas announced that its supervisory board and CEO Kasper Rorsted have mutually agreed that Rorsted will leave the CEO position in 2023. 

Rorsted will remain CEO as the company searches for a successor and until the new CEO has been appointed, Adidas said Monday (Aug. 22) in a press release. 

“After three challenging years that were marked by the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and geo-political tensions, it is now the right time to initiate a CEO transition and pave the way for a restart,” Adidas AG Supervisory Board Chairman Thomas Rabe said in the statement. 

The announcement came about a month after Adidas said it was adjusting its outlook for this year downward, citing a slower-than-expected recovery across Greater China since the start of the third quarter and the potential for slowdowns in other markets as a recession looms. 

Read more: Adidas Scales Back Its Financial Outlook for the Year 

The company said in a July 26 press release that second-quarter results exceeded expectations but that it expects its revenues in Greater China will likely decline at a double-digit rate for the rest of this year due to COVID-19 restrictions remaining in place across most of the region. 

The market for sneakers, sweats, leggings and T-shirts is facing a level of competition and jockeying not seen in decades, driven by not only the problems in China but also supply chain issues, rising costs and reduced consumer buying power. 

Read more: With Athletic Apparel and Footwear in Disarray, Puma Pounces With Push For Women 

In the announcement of its transition to a new CEO, Adidas credited Rorsted for transforming the company, saying that in the time he’s been CEO since 2016 it has accelerated its digital transformation, quintupled its online sales, doubled its sales in North America, improved its sustainability, increased the share of women in leadership positions and sharpened its focus on its core brand Adidas by divesting itself of TaylorMade, CCM Hockey and Reebok. 

“The past years have been marked by several external factors that disrupted our business significantly,” Rorsted said in the release. “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.”