New Puma CEO Franz Koch

New Puma CEO Franz Koch

German sporting goods maker Puma AG has completed its transformation into a European Corporation and confirmed Franz Koch new its new CEO with immediate effect.

Koch, whose appointment was announced back in March, replaces Jochen Zeitz who has been in charge for the past 18 years. He was previously head of global strategy at the sporting goods maker.

Zeitz, meanwhile, becomes chairman of the administrative board of Puma SE and will lead the new Sport & Lifestyle Division set up by parent PPR. As well as taking on this new role, Zeitz will manage PPR's new sustainable development policy as chief sustainability officer.

Following the registration of the company in the commercial register yesterday (25 July), Puma now trades under the name Puma SE. It says the move gives it a one-tier structure that enables it to operate freely across EU member states.

More than 90% of Puma's staff of around 9700 are employed outside Germany, and 90% of its sales are generated abroad.

Along with Koch, Puma SE's managing directors are Klaus Bauer (operations), Stefano Caroti (commerce), Antonio Bertone (marketing) and Reiner Seiz (supply chain). Melody Harris-Jensbach, however, is leaving the management team.