Adidas Group has restructured to create a new regional head for Western Europe, as the company aims to “get closer to consumers.”
Effective from November 1, Gil Steyaert will take on the new position as managing director of Western Europe, reporting to Roland Auschel, board member for global sales at Adidas Group.
Steyaert joined the adidas Group in 1999 as joint managing director for France. He is being promoted from his current role, managing director for North Europe, which he has held since 2003.
Gavin Thompson will take over from Steyaert, assuming responsibility for the UK and Ireland, Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) and Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
Thomson has worked for Adidas for 18 years and was sales director of its UK arm for six years until 2011, when he became senior vice-president of global sales
The restructure comes as the group struggles to become “more relevant” to consumers on the brand’s “home turf”.
Herbert Hainer, chief executive of the Adidas Group said: “Consumer behaviour is changing fast in Europe, country borders are becoming less relevant for our consumers and customers. To continue to lead the game on our home turf, we have decided to go forward with one aligned strategy for Western Europe.”
In the US the Adidas Group has united Adidas and Reebok under one management team. Patrik Nilsson, currently president of Adidas North America, has been promoted to president of Adidas Group North America. He will also assume global responsibility for Reebok.
Uli Becker, currently president of Reebok North America, is leaving to pursue new opportunities.