The athletic giant announced today that Kasper Rorsted, the company’s current CEO, and the Adidas AG supervisory board have mutually agreed that he will “hand over the CEO position during the course of 2023.” Adidas confirmed via statement that the search for a successor has started and that Rorsted will remain CEO until a successor has been appointed.
“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,” Rorsted said in a statement. “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.”
He continued, “Our business is heading in the right direction. We are growing double-digit in 85% 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 announcement of Rorsted’s impending departure comes shortly after Adidas revealed the impact headwinds in China and the closure of its business in Russia had on its Q2 results. On Aug. 4, Adidas reported that currency-adjusted sales in Q2 were up by 4%, though net income from continuing operations declined to €360 million ($367 million). Operating profit fell to €392 million ($398 million) from €543 million ($553 million) in 2021.
Rorsted was announced as the CEO of Adidas in January 2016, succeeding 15-year company veteran Herbert Hainer. He assumed control of Adidas on Oct. 1, 2016, after a two-month transition period. At the time of the announcement, Rorsted was the CEO of consumer goods maker Henkel AG & Co.
In Aug. 2020, Adidas extended the appointment of Rorsted as CEO for another five years.
“After three challenging years that were marked by the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions, it is now the right time to initiate a CEO transition and pave the way for a restart,” Thomas Rabe, Adidas AG chairman of the supervisory board, said in a statement. “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.”
The news of Rorsted’s forthcoming departure comes at a time when leadership ranks in the athletic market are in flux. Foot Locker Inc. said CEO Dick Johnson will retire from his role, effective Sept. 1. Mary Dillon, former executive chair and CEO of Ulta Beauty, will become its new chief.
Foot Locker Inc. also confirmed that Johnson will serve as executive chairman of the board through Jan. 31, 2023, after which Foot Locker’s lead independent director Dona Young will replace him as the company’s non-executive chair.