By  on October 23, 2012

PARIS — The administrative board of German sporting goods maker Puma on Tuesday unanimously elected Jean-François Palus as its new chairman, following the resignation of Jochen Zeitz earlier this month.

Palus, group managing director of Puma’s parent company PPR and a member of Puma’s supervisory board since 2007, had been widely expected to take over the post. His appointment is effective Dec. 1.

“I have come to value Puma highly over the last five years of successful cooperation and I would like to thank Jochen Zeitz for his invaluable contribution to Puma’s outstanding development for more than 20 years,” Palus stated.

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“Puma is a fantastic brand and company with highly committed people. I am looking forward to working with management to tap into the huge potential alongside Franz Koch and his Puma team to become the most desirable and sustainable sport lifestyle company in the world,” he added.

In his 22 years at the Herzogenaurach, Germany-based brand, Zeitz helped sales climb from around 250 million euros a year to more than 3 billion euros in 2011. Last year, he handed over the chief executive officer position at Puma to Franz Koch, who was charged with meeting the company’s target of posting sales of 4 billion euros by 2015. But Puma has hit a rough patch, with its profitability declining over the last two years. At a recent PPR press day with top managers, Palus said Puma needed to take action rapidly to address its poor results.

Puma is due to report third-quarter sales today.

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