News Column

Puma Chief to Step Down

Dec 12 2012

German sport goods group Puma announced Wednesday that its chief executive is stepping down after less than two years in the job.

Franz Koch is to leave the Bavaria-based company in March next year as part of a major management shakeout. His departure was "by mutual agreement," the company said.

"The company is therefore entering a new phase in its development and is changing its top management structure to take on those challenges," Puma said in a statement.

The 33-year-old Koch joined the company in 2007 and took over as chief executive in July last year from Jochen Zeitz, who is credited with spearheading the brand's revival. Zeitz stepped down from as group chairman on December 1.

Two other senior executives - chief operating officer Klaus Bauer and chief marketing officer Antonio Bertone - have already announced they plan to leave the company by the end of the year.

The restructuring of Puma's management followed a weak business performance last year as the group implemented a cost-cutting plan.

Earnings plunged more than 85 per cent to 12.2 million euros (16 million dollars) in the third quarter.

Source: Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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