Sportlifestyle company PUMA announced today that Franz Koch is designated to become Chief Executive Officer (CEO) upon the transformation of the company into a European Corporation (SE). Koch will succeed PUMA’s current CEO Jochen Zeitz after 18 years in this position. With immediate effect Koch will join the PUMA Board of Management as Chief Strategic Officer. He has been appointed by unanimous decision of the Supervisory Board. 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.
Franz Koch is currently in charge of Global Strategy for PUMA and based in Herzogenaurach. He has been responsible for the long-term strategic group development and management of special projects such as portfolio optimization, process re-engineering as well as mergers and acquisitions. Moreover, he coordinated and helped execute the company’s restructuring program in 2009 to lay the foundation for sustainable growth following the economic crisis. Koch has also strongly contributed to PUMA’s long-term sustainability program and most recently, he was instrumental in developing – in close cooperation with Jochen Zeitz and the other members of the Board of Management – the five-year growth strategy “Back on the Attack 2011-15” with its clear mission for PUMA to become the most desirable and sustainable Sportlifestyle company.
Jochen Zeitz, Chairman and CEO of PUMA: “Having an exceptionally analytical yet most pragmatic mind, Franz Koch has been one of the key drivers of PUMA’s strategic course and strongly contributed to our 2010 record sales level. Together, we have defined the company’s five-year strategic plan which will be the catalyst to tap into PUMA’s envisaged sales potential of 4 billion Euros in 2015. I am convinced that Franz is the right person at the right time and that he is the most qualified candidate and dedicated individual to take the helm at PUMA. I will personally accompany Franz’ transition period and I look forward to continuing a close and trusting cooperation with him.”
Koch joined PUMA in 2007 as Global Strategic Planner after having worked for the international management consultancy Oliver Wyman for several years. Koch (32) graduated in Business Administration from Leipzig Graduate School of Management and holds a Masters Degree in Commerce from the University of Sydney. The appointment of Franz Koch is the result of a thorough and diligent search process, in which many external and internal candidates were reviewed.
“Franz Koch, who has been working closely with Jochen Zeitz and the Board of Management over the past years, is our candidate of choice for this position. His excellent knowledge of the company and strategic expertise will guarantee a seamless handover and continuation of the company’s growth strategy. PUMA is one of PPR’s core brands and I am confident that Franz will bring PUMA to the next level. He has our full support and confidence,” said François-Henri Pinault, Chairman of PUMA’s Supervisory Board.
As announced last year, PUMA is about to convert into a European Corporation, trading under the name of PUMA SE. The transformation is subject to approval at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on April 14, 2011. Following the conversion into an SE, PUMA’s current CEO Jochen Zeitz will become Executive Chairman of the one-tier PUMA SE Board. Additionally, Zeitz has been appointed Head of the Sport & Lifestyle Group of PPR as well as Chief Sustainability Officer.