It’s a tragedy for companies when they don’t have the right management. Now it turns out that investors can make a decision about that ahead of time, too.
The news came out of the blue. Last Friday afternoon it was announced that the group CEO of sporting goods manufacturer Puma, Björn Gulden, would not extend his contract. In an instant speculation shot up as to what the 57-year-old might be up to.
And, lo and behold, Puma’s German competitor, sporting goods group Adidas of Herzogenaurach, confirmed via a media release that there were talks for Gulden’s CEO post.
Puma 0 – Adidas 1
Puma and Adidas are, of course, well known in Switzerland. The Puma Group belongs to French luxury goods groups Artemis and Kering. The latter owns brands such as Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent.
Shares in Adidas jumped after the personnel announcement. The share price rose in part by around 30 percent to 121 euros. It’s hard to imagine a nicer welcome for a boss.
Clearly, Adidas has difficulties with current CEO Kasper Rorsted. Sales at the brand with the three stripes are not coming in as hoped. Their forecasts have already been adjusted several times.
Criticism has been voiced about the management style and the lack of innovation. Even with the separation of the sponsorship agreement with rapper Kanye West, the German sporting goods group with the actually successful premium brand ‘Yeezy’ did not paint a praiseworthy picture.
Bringing in team players
Now the Norwegian, Gulden, who was once a professional soccer player himself and is actually used to teamwork, is supposed to fix it. But nothing has been decided yet.
His departure from Puma after around nine years caused the share price to fall by around four percent to 44.50 euros. This also shows that he did a good job in the eyes of Puma investors and will now be missed.
However, his successor in the Puma CEO post has already been identified in the form of sales boss Arne Freundt.
Gulden, a former professional soccer player for Germany’s 1. FC Nürnberg and Norwegian clubs Strömsgodset IF and Bryne FK, had to give up his sports career for health reasons. But he did not think of giving up, the Norwegian then studying economics.
In the eyes of muula.ch, this shows impressively that life can continue successfully even in seemingly hopeless situations. Even when a lifelong dream comes to an abrupt end due to injury, as in Gulden’s case.
By working at Puma, however, the footballer was able to continue to pursue his passion – sport – indirectly. Customers, sales partners and the workforce often had the impression that he knew the material well.
Now the father of three sons and himself the child of a professional athlete can, assuming the employment contract comes to fruition, prove this with a lot of credibility at the better-known Adidas Group.