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Adidas announces management changes, extends contract of CFO

By Huw Hughes


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Image: Adidas AG

Sportswear giant Adidas has announced changes to its top team the same day it revealed it swung to a loss in the fourth quarter of the year.

The German company said Wednesday that the contract of Harm Ohlmeyer, who has been finance chief since 2017, will be extended for three years, meaning he’ll remain in the post until the beginning of 2028.

Chief executive Bjørn Gulden said Ohlmeyer has “exactly the knowledge, experience, and attitude that we need to turn things around”.

The announcement came as Adidas reported a net loss of 482 million euros in the fourth quarter compared to a profit of 123 million euros a year earlier, with the company citing geopolitical, macroeconomic, and “company-specific” challenges.

Currency-neutral revenues dropped 1 percent in the quarter as the company was impacted by the termination of its Yeezy partnership.

Also on Wednesday, Adidas announced that veteran Roland Auschel, who has been at the business for 33 years, including ten as an executive board member, has decided to leave the business.

He will be succeeded by Arthur Hoeld as an executive board member, responsible for global sales, as of April 1. Hoeld is also an Adidas veteran, having worked at the business for the past 25 years, most recently as managing director of the company’s EMEA region.

Management changes as Adidas eyes turnaround

Additionally, Adidas revealed that executive board member Brian Grevy, who has been responsible for Global Brands, will step down from the board and leave the business as of March 31.

From that point, CEO Gulden will assume responsibility for Global Brands, where he will head product and marketing activities.

The management reshuffle comes at an important time for Adidas, which is looking to recover after taking a hit from its recent acrimonious split with Yeezy, the brand of rapper-turned-designer Ye, formerly known as Kanye West.

The company expects currency-neutral revenue to decline at a high-single-digit rate for the current year.

Meanwhile, it expects a reported operating loss to be 700 million euros, including an additional negative impact of 500 million euros from the potential Yeezy inventory write-off, and up to 200 million euros in one-off costs.