Adidas Successor?

An American in Bavaria

Mr. Liedtke, an American, has been with Adidas for 20 years.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Mr. Liedtke is said to have decisive advantages because he is American and is very familiar with the U.S. market.

  • Facts


    • Eric Liedtke, a former football player, is seen as a possible successor to Adidas boss Herbert Hainer.
    • The 48-year-old headed the team presenting the company’s new strategy today.
    • The company is pinning its hopes on the new Ultra Boost running shoe, priced at €180 ($198).
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Eric Liedtke had been preparing for this day for months.

On Thursday, the head of global brands at Adidas finally presented his team’s input for the sporting-goods company’s new five-year plan to catch up to arch rival Nike by increasing its brand visibility, accelerating production and collaborating with celebrities and tech companies like Google.

But Mr. Liedtke, a former professional soccer player, and his fellow board members failed to score with analysts.

“This is no more than a pretty marketing presentation,” said one financial analyst who asked not to be identified because he is not allowed to speak about individual companies. “Everybody wants to be faster and better, but the trick is to actually do it.”

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