By  on June 20, 2011

In a business that’s all about speed—on the running track and in the market—Jochen Zeitz is odd man out. The executive who dreamed up the sports lifestyle category and over the last 17 years has transformed Puma AG from a loss-making, bargain-basement brand into a $3.85 billion company has always played a long game, setting his own pace and heeding his instincts.

“Years ago they told me Puma was too small to survive, but does an animal care about its size? We do what we believe in, and we’ve always found our own way, created our USP rather than following any ranking,” says Zeitz, 48, during a telephone interview from his offices in Herzogenaurach, near Nuremberg, Germany.

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