PARIS — Gant AB, the American sportswear brand with headquarters in Stockholm, has named Patrik Nilsson chief executive officer.
This story first appeared in the April 18, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Nilsson joins the company from Adidas, where he worked for 23 years, most recently as president of the German activewear firm’s North American division.
At Gant, he reports to José Luis Duran, chairman of the board. Duran has been acting as interim ceo following the departure of Dirk-Jan Stoppelenburg in December.
“Gant is today one of the world’s leading American sportswear brands, and I’m very excited to welcome Patrik Nilsson as the new ceo,” said Duran. “With his extensive international experience and strong knowledge in building and refining leading iconic brands, he will bring important expertise in sales, marketing and product knowledge.”
Meanwhile, at Adidas, new executive roles have been quickly assigned.
Succeeding Nilsson is Mark King, due to take up his new post on June 1. King, who started his career as a sales representative, has helped double the sales of TaylorMade-Adidas Golf since he became the division’s ceo in 2003. In his new role, he will be in charge of all Adidas and Reebok operations in North America and report to Roland Auschel, member of the group’s executive board, who is also responsible for global sales.
In turn, Ben Sharpe, who is executive vice president of Adidas Golf and Ashworth, will take over from King as the new ceo of TaylorMade-Adidas Golf, reporting directly to the group’s ceo Herbert Hainer.
Sharpe, an acclaimed athlete who represented Great Britain at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games as a member of the country’s field hockey team, spent six years as the division’s managing director in Europe, where he is credited with having doubled the brand’s business.
“Mark King’s appointment underlines our clear commitment to the North American marketplace,” said Hainer on Thursday. “[He] has a proven track record of success and leadership excellence. In turn, TaylorMade-Adidas Golf is in the best hands with Ben Sharpe, who has been part of the successful TaylorMade leadership team since 2006. I am convinced that Ben will lead our golf business into the next era of growth.”