Thomas Rabe

BERLIN — German sportswear giant Adidas has named the next chairman of its supervisory board. Deputy chairman Thomas Rabe will take the place of Igor Landau after the 75-year-old steps down this spring. Rabe will start in the role after the company’s annual general meeting in Bavaria in mid-May.

Rabe joined the Adidas supervisory board in May 2019, but has no shortage of experience with large companies, having been chief executive officer of German media conglomerate Bertelsmann since 2012. It is one of the largest media companies in the world, with subsidiaries like publisher Penguin Random House, music label BMG and media company RTL. Bertelsmann has more than 110,000 employees, almost double the 57,000 staffers at Adidas.

Also noteworthy is the increasing youth of Adidas’ supervisory board. The average age of chairpersons in Germany is around 68. Rabe is 54 and after Christian Klein, co-ceo of software company SAP, joins the 16-member board in May, the average age on Adidas’ board will be closer to 55.

Landau had been chairman of the supervisory board since 2009, during which time Adidas went from a 5-billion-euro company to one that is worth just under 57 billion euros today.

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