After its breakup with the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, Adidas chose Bjorn Gulden, the former CEO of competitor Puma, to be its new CEO. He will take over the German sportswear company in January.
When Kasper Rorsted, Adidas' CEO since 2016, announced his departure in August, Bjorn Gulden was appointed to take over. Rorsted was originally expected to hand over sometime next year; later on, however, Adidas announced that he and the company's supervisory board had "mutually agreed" that he would step down.
Harm Ohlmeyer will serve as CEO of Adidas until the end of the year. His temporary appointment comes after the company severed ties with rapper Ye late last month in the face of mounting criticism over his offensive and anti-Semitic remarks.
The decision to immediately cease production of its line of Yeezy products could cost Adidas up to 250 million euros (about $260 million) in net income this year, joining other companies in severing ties with Ye.
Norwegian-born 57-year-old Bjorn Gulden has served as Puma SE's chief executive officer since 2013. Bjorn Gulden recalls his time spent at Adidas between the years 1992 and 1999, during which he held the position of Senior Vice President of Apparel and Accessories.
He has also held executive positions at the outdoor clothing manufacturer Helly Hansen, the Danish jewelry manufacturer Pandora, Europe's largest footwear retailer Deichmann, and shoe retailer Rack Room Shoes. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Salling Group, the biggest food retailer in Denmark.
Bjorn Gulden played football and handball at the professional level. He was a football player for 1. FC Nürnberg of the German 2. Bundesliga, Bryne and Strmsgodset of the Norwegian Premier League, and a handball player for Haslum of Norway's first league.