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Adidas chief executive Kasper Rorsted to leave role in 2023

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

23 Aug 2022


Image: Adidas; Kasper Rorsted

German sportswear giant Adidas has confirmed that chief executive officer Kasper Rorsted will stand down from his role next year, with the search for a new successor already underway.

In a statement, the Adidas Supervisory Board said it “mutually agreed” with Rorsted that he would hand over the CEO position in 2023, a position he has held since 2016.

The search for Adidas’ new boss has already started, added the sportswear brand, and Rorsted will remain CEO until a successor has been appointed to "ensure a smooth transition at the helm of the company".

Thomas Rabe, chairman of the Supervisory Board of Adidas AG, said on behalf of the board: “We would like to thank Kasper for his major achievements. During his tenure since 2016, he has strategically repositioned the company and fast-forwarded its digital transformation. Under Kasper’s leadership, Adidas has substantially advanced its digital capabilities and grown its online sales by a factor of more than five. In North America, the world’s largest sporting goods market, Adidas has doubled its sales.

“In addition, Adidas has strengthened its leadership position in sustainability and increased diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the company. One example is the share of women in leadership positions that increased significantly during his tenure. Following the successful divestiture of TaylorMade, CCM Hockey and Reebok the company is now able to focus its efforts on its core brand Adidas.”

Kasper Rorsted to step down as CEO of Adidas in 2023

Rabe added: “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. We are pleased that Kasper will ensure a smooth transition at the helm of the company during the upcoming months jointly with the Supervisory Board and Executive Board of Adidas AG.”

Commenting on his resignation, Rorsted, said: “Adidas is an iconic sports brand. As a company, we have achieved great progress in strategic areas of our business. I am proud of our achievements as a team. The past years have been marked by several external factors that disrupted our business significantly. 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.

“Our business is heading in the right direction. We are growing double-digit in 85 percent of our business. In the months to come our focus will be to accelerate our growth as soon as all markets can operate without major disruptions. Together with the adidas team I am looking forward to realizing this growth and, jointly with the Supervisory Board, to ensuring a smooth transition at the helm of the company.”

The news of Rorsted’s departure comes after Adidas reported continued “strong momentum” in western markets in the second quarter and a return to growth in Asia-Pacific, despite continued challenges on both supply and demand, as well as suspending its business in Russia.

Kasper Rorsted