Sportlifestyle company PUMA AG intends to be transformed into a European Corporation, trading under the name of PUMA SE (SE = Societas Europaea). The transformation is subject to approval at PUMA’s 2011 Annual General Meeting in April. PUMA CEO Jochen Zeitz is designated to become Executive Chairman of the one-tier PUMA SE Board ensuring a continuous strategic management of the company’s next phase of its corporate development. Jochen Zeitz will remain CEO of PUMA until a new CEO has been appointed. He will coordinate the search in close cooperation with PUMA’s Personnel Committee. François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of PPR, also appointed Jochen Zeitz Head of PPR’s new Sport & Lifestyle Division. PPR is PUMA’s majority shareholder with some 71% of voting rights as of September, 30, 2010.
The more flexible and international structure of a one-tier European Corporation permits that Jochen Zeitz – in his new role as Executive Chairman of the Board – can continue to be responsible for PUMA’s next phase of its corporate development while also providing PPR’s future Sport & Lifestyle Division with his extensive and unique expertise in the sportlifestyle sector. PUMA will become a core brand within this new division.
In the role of Head of PPR’s Sport & Lifestyle Division, Zeitz will act as a member of PPR’s Executive Committee. Within the framework of the Division’s strategy developed by PPR, Jochen Zeitz will be responsible for setting up the organisation and will be in charge of operations in order to build a portfolio of strong, complementary brands within the sport and lifestyle arena in the future. These brands, and PUMA in particular, will benefit from international growth opportunities and new synergies derived from complementary consumer universes and pooled resources. Zeitz will assume his new responsibilities as Head of PPR’s Sport & Lifestyle Division after the search for a CEO of PUMA has been completed.
“I strongly believe in PUMA’s future potential as an innovation leader and icon for the sport and lifestyle industry backed by its strong brand. I am confident that Jochen Zeitz, together with the new CEO in charge of the PUMA brand, will bring PUMA to the next step. We will now look into expanding our sport and lifestyle investments in the coming years with PUMA as a core brand in our future portfolio”, François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of PPR, said.
The new management structure shall facilitate the implementation of PUMA’s five-year strategic company plan. The conversion into an SE will not infringe PUMA’s working arrangements and will proceed in close coordination with the respective employee representation bodies. PUMA’s five year strategic plan 2011-2015 will be released together with PUMA’s third-quarter results on October 26.
With immediate effect Jochen Zeitz will also assume the newly created role of Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) at PPR. This measure not only underlines PPR’s strong commitment to Sustainability but is also a clear acknowledgement and is an opportunity to expand on PUMA’s pioneering role in this area, taking into account PUMA’s strong environmental and social commitment under the umbrella of PUMAVision.
“I will – in cooperation with the Personnel Committee – personally conduct the search for the future CEO of the PUMA brand” said Jochen Zeitz. “While all necessary preparations will be taken, I will remain CEO of PUMA. When the new CEO is appointed, I will ensure a seamless handover and implementation of the company’s five-year strategic plan which we have been diligently working on during the course of this year. After then 18 years as CEO of PUMA, I look forward to evolving my role within PUMA as well as the PPR Group and am passionate to further pursue responsible business opportunities within a sustainable social and environmental context.”