The Straits Times
Published on Dec 13, 2012

Puma boss steps down as PPR tightens grip


FRANKFURT (REUTERS) - Puma's chief executive officer (CEO) will leave in March, part of an overhaul of the German sportswear maker intended to catch up with rivals such as Adidas and Nike.

Puma is cutting costs, reducing its product range and trimming management following a profit warning over the summer after customers in its main markets in Europe held back on purchases of sports shoes and T-shirts.

The company's announcement of 33-year-old CEO Franz Koch's exit on Wednesday came less than two weeks after Mr Jean-Francois Palus from controlling shareholder PPR took over as chairman of the supervisory board from former CEO Jochen Zeitz who had headed Puma for 18 years.

Puma, 82.4 per cent controlled by the French luxury goods group, said Mr Koch would work with new chairman Palus, also PPR group managing director, until he left.