US/EUROPE: Adidas shuffles management to drive growth
German sportswear company Adidas Group has announced a series of management changes in North America and Western Europe aimed at maximising the potential of its brands in its two largest regions.
In North America, the world's second-largest sportswear maker has united both its Adidas and Reebok brands under one management team, in line with the introduction of joint operating models in all other markets.
Patrik Nilsson, who has been president of Adidas North America since January 2007, will lead the newly united organisation as president of Adidas Group North America. He will also assume global responsibility for Reebok-CCM Hockey and report to Adidas Group CEO Herbert Hainer.
Uli Becker, meanwhile, has resigned as the president of Reebok North America after 23 years with the company.
"With this new organisational structure, we ensure that both the Adidas and Reebok brands remain separate and distinctive while leveraging the group's strengths. This new set-up will make our group stronger and grow our business faster in the US."
Adidas has also created a new structure for Western Europe, that brings together its Central, North, South, France and Iberia units.
Gil Steyaert, managing director of North Europe, has been appointed managing director of Western Europe. Based in Herzogenaurach, Steyaert will report to Roland Auschel, the group's board member for global sales.
All Western European managing directors will report to Steyaert, who joined the company in 1999 as joint managing director for France.
Gavin Thomson, meanwhile, is to rejoin Adidas as the new managing director of North Europe on 1 January and will report to Steyaert.
"Consumer behaviour is changing fast in Europe: country borders are becoming less relevant for our consumers and customers. To continue to lead the game on our home turf, we have decided to go forward with one aligned strategy for Western Europe," added Hainer.
"I am convinced that our new set-up will make us even more attractive for consumers and customers in Western Europe and will enable us to further extend our leadership position in this important region."
Adidas last month lowered its full-year profit expectations to EUR820-850m (US$1.1-1.14bn) from its prior guidance of EUR890-920m because of distribution issues in Russia combined with a weak golf market.
A month earlier, the sporting goods group blamed a "lacklustre" trading environment in Europe and unfavourable currency effects for weaker sales and slower profit growth during the first half.
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