Patrik Nilsson, managing director of the Nordic region of Adidas Europe, has been named president of Adidas North America.

Nilsson is taking over immediately. He succeeds Rob Langstaff, who has left the company for personal reasons, Adidas said.

“I am very much looking forward to supporting Patrik in his new role,” Erich Stamminger, president and chief executive officer of the Adidas brand, said in a statement. “His appointment further strengthens our management team in Portland. Patrik draws on rich and successful experience with our group and has a clear understanding of our strategic plans for North America.”

Nilsson will report to Stamminger.

Nilsson had been managing director of the Nordic region since November 2003. Like Langstaff, the Swedish national started his Adidas career in 1991. Nilsson started as head of sales and marketing in Sweden. In 1994, he joined the global marketing organization, and during his tenure as business unit manager for tennis, Adidas regained global market leadership in this category. In 2000, he was appointed head of Adidas’ global sport heritage division, and sales doubled under his leadership.

Nilsson’s position as managing director of the Nordic area will be assumed on an interim basis by Roland Auschel, Adidas’ head of region Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Langstaff, a 15-year Adidas veteran, had served as president of Adidas America since November 2005. Earlier, he was president of Adidas’ Japan subsidiary.

Neither Nilsson nor Langstaff was available for comment.

This story first appeared in the January 24, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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