Changes in adidas-Salomon's European management team
Herzogenaurach/Germany, September 20, 2004 - After more than 16 years with the company, Michael Rupp (44), currently Managing Director of adidas' Area Central (AC) has asked to take a one-year- break from his responsibilities at adidas-Salomon. Michael will rejoin the adidas-Salomon group at the beginning of 2006 in a responsible position. Effective September 27, 2004, Ulli Gritzuhn (42) will join adidas-Salomon to strengthen its European Management team. After an intensive introduction program, followed by a hand-over period from early November until December, Ulli Gritzuhn will take over as Managing Director Area Central from Michael Rupp effective January 1, 2005. He will report to Roland Auschel, Head of Region Europe, Middle East & Africa.
"Europe is our home-base and the Area Central is one of our key market there", said Roland Auschel. "Michael did an outstanding job at the helm of this important Area. This resulted, among others, in the smooth and successful integration of five new markets into the AC organization and a significant increase in profitability of this key market in Europe. Therefore, we regret to see Michael leave us temporarily and would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his passion, dedication and contribution to our success. At the same time, we are happy that we can support a key member of our senior management team in fulfilling his dream of sailing the ocean. We are already looking forward to welcoming Michael back on board again in 2006."
Ulli Gritzuhn (42), married with two children, has a wealth of marketing, sales and general management experience in the European Consumer Goods Industry. He began his career at Procter and Gamble, where he held several Sales and Marketing positions of increasing levels of responsibility in Germany and Sweden. He then joined Wrigley and acted as Managing Director Germany and Switzerland, and was promoted to Regional Vice President Western Europe in 2001.
Roland Auschel: "We have made great strides in all markets since we formed our Area Central organisation. I have no doubt that our business there will continue to strive under Ulli Gritzuhn's leadership. His vast experience and knowledge of the European Consumer Goods Industry combined with his passion for sport make him the ideal choice to continue our growth strategy leading into and beyond the FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany."
In the so-called Area Central adidas comprises its business activities in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia.