Puma Taps Adidas Veteran as SVP of North American Wholesale Sales


Andrew Rudolph brings 20 years of experience from rival Adidas, where he once served as vice president of U.S. sales.

Puma on Friday named a new senior vice president of wholesale for North American sales. Andrew Rudolph, known as Rudi, joins the athletics retailer on Tuesday and brings 20 years of experience from rival Adidas, where he eventually served as vice president of U.S. sales.

Rudolph tripled Adidas’ U.S. business during his tenure and led its mall-based distribution, working with retailers like Foot Locker and Dick’s Sporting Goods, according to a company press release emailed to Retail Dive. At Puma, he will report to Bob Philion, president of Puma North America. Rudolph will be tasked with establishing Puma as a market leader in North America — its largest region — along with driving growth, building the brand and brand equity, and improving customer satisfaction in the region.

Most recently, Rudolph was senior vice president of wholesale at Cole Haan, where he grew revenue more than 70% in three years, according to the announcement.

“Rudi’s unique blend of industry experience and sales leadership will be pivotal to our growth plans in North America,” Philion said in a statement. “His proven track record of managing teams and delivering outstanding commercial results, coupled with his deep understanding of the footwear and apparel market and our key customers, will be instrumental as we support our region’s continued expansion strategies.”

It’s been a year of changes at Puma, which named a new CEO in November last year after Bjørn Gulden’s departure for Adidas. Arne Freundt, Puma’s chief commercial officer at the time, took over the top post a couple of months before a planned succession, and has since overseen a number of developments. 

The athletics retailer reorganized its marketing department in June, shifting operations out of Boston and into its hometown in Herzogenaurach, Germany. With that announcement, Chief Brand Officer Adam Petrick also said he would leave the company at the end of the year, replaced by Richard Teyssier as global brand and marketing director. At the same time, Puma gave its North America team responsibility for local sports marketing and partnership management “in order to elevate the brand in the U.S. market.”

Puma in September also announced a multi-year deal with Rihanna and her brand Fenty, with the celebrity serving as creative director of Fenty x Puma.

In the second quarter this year, Puma reported a sales increase of 5.9%, reaching 2.1 billion euros ($2.2 billion at current rates). Net income tumbled nearly 35%, to 55 million euros. In the Americas region, sales fell 8.4% to 862 million euros, which the company attributed to “ongoing softness in North America.” Declines in North America were related to macroeconomic headwinds and Puma’s reliance on its off-price wholesale business, which the retailer said would be “strategically contained” in the future.

Source : Retail Dive