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German sportswear giant Puma on Thursday named Bjoern Gulden, a former professional footballer and top manager at rival Adidas, as its new chief executive.
"The administrative board of Puma today appointed Bjoern Gulden, 47, as the sports and lifestyle company's new CEO, effective July 1. He succeeds Franz Koch who left the company at the end of March," the company said in a statement.
Norwegian-born Gulden -- who played among others for German Bundesliga club 1. FC Nuernberg -- had "extensive international experience of nearly 20 years in the sporting goods and footwear industry, where he held a variety of management positions," Puma said.
He was chief executive of Danish jewellery brand Pandora since the beginning of 2012.
From 2000 to 2011, he was managing director of Europe's largest footwear retailer, Deichmann, where he also headed the US subsidiaries Rack Room Shoes and Off Broadway Shoes.
Prior to 2000, he held several management positions at outdoor apparel company Helly Hansen and sporting goods firm Adidas, where he was senior vice president of apparel and accessories.
"I am absolutely convinced that Bjoern Gulden is the perfect fit to lead Puma through its continuing restructuring and transformation programme," said the company's supervisory board chief Jean-François Palus.
Gulden said he was "honoured and look forward to taking on the position as CEO of Puma, one of the industry's most exciting and powerful brands."