Kasper Rorsted. Picture: REUTERS/INA FASSBENDER
Kasper Rorsted. Picture: REUTERS/INA FASSBENDER

BERLIN — German sportswear company Adidas has appointed Henkel’s Kasper Rorsted as its new CE, after the Dane succeeded in cutting costs and boosting profits during an eight-year reign at the consumer goods group.

Mr Rorsted, who will leave Henkel in April, will take charge of Adidas on October 1, replacing Herbert Hainer, who has headed the sportswear maker since 2001.

Adidas shares jumped 9.8% on Monday, heading for their biggest one-day gain in more than seven years, while Henkel was down 3.8%.

Mr Hainer had come under fire as Adidas has lost market share to Nike, particularly in the US, prompting the board last year to launch a search for a successor.

Investors had hoped Adidas would appoint an external candidate, believing an outsider might be more likely to take tough decisions to boost profitability and potentially sell noncore businesses.

Since Mr Rorsted took over at Henkel in 2008, shares in the company have more than tripled, while its annual sales have grown more than a third to about €18bn estimated for last year. In November, Henkel posted a larger than expected rise in third-quarter profit, as sales in North America and Russia more than offset weakness in its Chinese business.

Mr Rorsted has a reputation as a cost cutter who helped restructure Henkel, but faced challenges in the US, the company’s biggest market, where competition is fierce. In response, Mr Rorsted overhauled management in the US market.