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Adidas eyes Puma boss to take over

German sportswear giant Adidas said Friday it was in talks with the chief of rival outfitter Puma to take the reins after the planned departure of its current CEO.

Adidas was in discussions with the Puma boss Bjorn Gulden “as a potential successor” to current boss Kasper Rorsted, it said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, Puma announced that Gulden would be stepping down at the end of the year, to be replaced by in-house hire Arne Freundt.

The switch of leadership at Adidas comes as the iconic kit-maker seeks to emerge from months of turbulence which have hit sales.

Adidas lowered its outlook for 2022 in July due in part to continuing severe coronavirus restrictions in key market China and the expected hit to sales.

The group also cut ties with Kanye West at the end of October after a series of anti-Semitic tweets by the rapper caused outcry.

Adidas ended production of the highly successful “Yeezy” line designed together with West.

Both Adidas and Puma are based in the Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach, close to Nuremberg, in the southeastern region of Bavaria.

The twin companies were founded by two brothers. Adolf Dassler began Adidas before his brother, Rudolf, with whom he had a fierce rivalry, established Puma.