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adidas Group appoints Mark King as President of adidas Group North America, Ben Sharpe as CEO of TaylorMade–adidas Golf

Portland, Oregon/Carlsbad, California, 17 April 2014 – The adidas Group has appointed Mark King as President of adidas Group North America effective June 1, 2014. In his new role, Mark King will be in charge of all adidas and Reebok operations in the North American market and report directly to Roland Auschel, member of the Executive Board of adidas AG, responsible for Global Sales. Mark King succeeds Patrik Nilsson, who has decided to leave the company for personal reasons and will take on a new career opportunity in his home country Sweden to become CEO of global premium fashion brand GANT. Ben Sharpe, currently Executive Vice President of adidas Golf and Ashworth, will become the new CEO of TaylorMade–adidas Golf, reporting into adidas Group CEO Herbert Hainer. Together with Herbert Hainer, Mark King will serve on the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Advisory Board.

Mark King (54) has a long and successful track record with the adidas Group. Since 2003, Mark King has been CEO of TaylorMade-adidas Golf. Under his leadership, TaylorMade–adidas Golf became the leading and most profitable golf company in the world. During this period, sales more than doubled from € 637 million in 2003 to € 1.285 billion in 2013. Mark King started his career at TaylorMade in the early 1980s as sales representative. Mark King has earned a variety of professional accolades such as the golf industry's Executive of the Year and is consistently named one of the most powerful people in the business. He has been the subject of the television show “Undercover Boss” and appeared on “The Apprentice” as a business role model. In his new role, Mark King will relocate to Portland, Oregon.

Ben Sharpe (40) currently holds the position of Executive Vice President of adidas Golf and Ashworth. Prior to his current role, Ben Sharpe spent six years as TaylorMade-adidas Golf’s Managing Director in Europe, where his work doubled the company’s business and made it the largest and most successful golf company in the region. Before joining TaylorMade-adidas Golf in 2006, Ben Sharpe served as Managing Director at Lyle & Scott. Ben Sharpe is also an acclaimed athlete, having represented Great Britain at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games as a member of the country’s field hockey team.

Patrik Nilsson (50) started his adidas career in 1991 as Head of Sales and Marketing in Sweden. In 1994, he joined adidas’ Global Marketing organization. Since 2007 Patrik Nilsson has been President of adidas North America. During his tenure, he led adidas America into a new period of growth and profitability. Effective October 2013, Patrik Nilsson assumed responsibility for both adidas and Reebok in North America under the adidas Group’s joint operating model.

“Mark King’s appointment underlines our clear commitment to the North American marketplace,” says Herbert Hainer, CEO of the adidas Group. "Mark has a proven track record of success and leadership excellence. In turn, TaylorMade-adidas Golf is in best hands with Ben Sharpe who has been part of the successful TaylorMade leadership team since 2006. I am convinced that Ben will lead our golf business into the next era of growth. At the same time, I would like to thank Patrik for his passion and many contributions to our company over the last 23 years and I wish him all the best for his professional and private future in Sweden.”

Mark King draws on rich and successful experience with our Group and has a clear understanding of our strategic plans for this important region,” states Roland Auschel. “Under his leadership, we will elevate the adidas and Reebok business to the next level and secure an even stronger market position for our Group in North America.

About the adidas Group

The adidas Group is a global leader in the sporting goods industry, offering a broad portfolio of footwear, apparel and hardware for sport and lifestyle around the core brands adidas, Reebok, TaylorMade, Rockport and Reebok-CCM Hockey. Headquartered in Herzogenaurach/Germany, the Group employs more than 50,000 people across the globe and generated sales of € 14.5 billion in 2013.