Even though Herbert Hainer had categorically denied the rumour up till now, his Adidas reign seems to be nearly over. The group is looking for a new CEO, who will have to close the gap with its main competitor Nike.
Hainer will leave officially in 2017
Adidas has started its procedure to find a successor for CEO Herbert Hainer: a letter to its employees states that it "is intensely looking for candidates to succeed Herbert Hainer, both internally and externally". Hainer's term as CEO will officially end in 2017.
Only last month, Hainer had denied his position was up for grabs. The 60-year old has faced increased scrutiny from Adidas shareholders because he cannot close the gap with the number 1, American Nike. On the contrary, Hainer has lost ground ever since he took control of the German company in 2001. All in all, he has been in charge longer than any other CEO of a German listed company.
The news about his imminent departure resulted in positive changes on the Frankfurt stock exchange: Adidas's shares shot up nearly 5 %. Alongside his new 'global brand chief' Eric Liedtke and sales director Roland Auschel, Hainer will present a new 5-year plan on 26 March. The goal is to get to a 20 billion euro turnover by 2020, compared to 14.8 billion euro in 2014. Its full-year results will be presented early March.