Adidas Executive Who Led U.S. Revival Is Stepping DownBy
Adidas AG is losing the executive who oversaw the German sportswear company’s U.S. turnaround.
Mark King, 59, is stepping down as president of Adidas North America, and will be replaced by Zion Armstrong effective July 1, the company said. Armstrong, 43, has worked with King as general manager of the unit since June 2015. King will continue to act as an adviser in the coming years.
After more than a decade running the golf business, including the TaylorMade brand, King took over North America at a time when Adidas was struggling. It had lost its way in the U.S. as Nike and upstarts such as Under Armour Inc. gobbled up its market share.
King pushed the German company to compete more aggressively to outfit colleges and universities, a piece of a larger effort to appeal to younger consumers. Adidas also successfully rereleased retro styles like the Stan Smith tennis shoe and launched collaborations with hip-hop artist Kanye West, fueling a 35 percent jump in North American sales last year.
King’s time has been marred by Adidas being caught up in a federal corruption probe into college basketball. An Adidas spokeswoman said King’s departure wasn’t related to the investigation, or any misconduct.