When Adidas was founded, many people were credited for making this German multinational corporation a success. Herbert Hainer, Kasper Rorsted, and Adolf Dassler are just a few. Read about these men to learn more about the company’s founders. These men helped shape the athletic clothing industry, and they are responsible for making Adidas what it is today. Now, you know who made these fantastic shoes.
The first Adidas sports shoes were produced in 1924, rigged with hand-forged metal spikes and nailed leather studs. This company soon expanded into a much larger factory and hired more employees. The Dassler brothers developed a close relationship with the German national track and field team. Their team, led by coach Josef Waitzer, wore the shoes in the 1928 Olympics.
After World War I, Dassler and his brothers had to make shoes to support their families. During the 1930s, the brothers joined the Nazi Party and produced shoes for the Wehrmacht. They eventually broke ties with the Nazis, but the two brothers remained close and collaborated to develop the company. They used the materials left over from the war to create sports shoes. Instead of leather, Dassler used rubber textile from aircraft fuel tanks, tent canvas, and rubber rafts.
While both brothers shared a love for sports and athletic footwear, their families had different ideas on how to keep the business afloat during World War II. Although both brothers were trained to be radio operators, Rudolf Dassler contested his call-up and was drafted into the German army during the war. However, Dassler continued to work for the company despite his dissatisfaction.
The Dassler brothers’ rivalry led to the creation of other sports brands in the same year. In 1923, Adolf Dassler founded the Adidas brand, becoming one of the world’s most popular sports brands. Rudolf Dassler followed suit a year later with his rival Puma. The two brothers remained bitter rivals, but the two sports companies were eventually separated despite the underlying rivalry.
Although the founder was an active member of the Nazi party, he was barred from owning a business. However, in 1947, he was allowed to buy the company and name it Adidas. In the years that followed, the family’s success was further accelerated with the help of Kathe Dassler. As time passed, Kathe Dassler took over the company. She became an essential part of the business and helped Adolf build relationships with sports personalities worldwide.
Herbert Hainer’s lifelong dream of running a successful sportswear company didn’t work out despite his passion for soccer. The company continues to lose market share to US rival Nike. The board of directors of Adidas has begun searching for Hainer’s successor. During the investigation, Hainer’s daughter, Anne-Kate, was named CEO. Hainer once dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player.
Born on 3 July 1954, Herbert Hainer studied business administration in Landshut and graduated in 1979. He then worked for the Procter & Gamble company in Frankfurt before switching to Adidas’s sports goods manufacturer in 1987. Hainer held various management positions at Adidas before being appointed to the executive board in 1997. In 2001, he was named CEO and Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board. Hainer passed away on 30 July 2005.
After joining Adidas in 1987, Herbert Hainer served in various management positions until 2001, when he was appointed CEO of the Adidas Group. During his tenure, the company’s sales doubled, its net income tripled, and its employees grew by four times. Under Hainer’s leadership, the company’s value increased from EUR3 billion to EUR18 billion, making it one of the world’s most sustainable and attractive employers.
In September, Kasper Rorsted will replace Herbert Hainer as CEO. He will join the Adidas Group after stepping down as CEO of Henkel’s German consumer goods giant. He has a wealth of international management experience and previously worked at Oracle, Compaq, and Hewlett-Packard. Rorsted will face a significant challenge: regaining the market share that Under Armour has carved out.
Kasper Rorsted was born in Aarhus, Denmark in 1962. While in high school, he played handball for the Danish national team. After graduating from high school, Rorsted studied business at Niels Brock Copenhagen Business College. He then went to Harvard Business School to further his education. Today, Rorsted lives in Sweden and continues to lead the company. His philanthropic efforts have resulted in creating several charitable foundations in honor of Rorsted.
Philanthropists and entrepreneurs have also taken action to reduce waste and improve the environment. He has pledged to make nine out of 10 of its products sustainable by 2025. Last year, it hit its goal and surpassed it, achieving a 69% share of sustainable products. By 2050, the company wants to be “climate neutral,” meaning its production practices do not increase the carbon footprint. In addition, Adidas is taking the lead in combating plastic waste through a three-pronged strategy. It has started to create shoes made from recycled materials, remaking those returned and using renewable and natural resources.
In addition to creating the iconic sportswear, Rorsted also served as a European Round Table of Industries member. He is a well-respected leader in the corporate world, with many years of experience leading multinational companies. The Danish-born entrepreneur’s business acumen was highlighted during the coronavirus pandemic. Kasper Rorsted’s leadership has helped Adidas navigate the turbulent waters of the crisis and positioned the company for even greater success in the future.
While Kasper Rorsted’s career is primarily centered on sports and business, he also has a family life. He is married and has four children. Family life comes before the job. He says his wife and children are essential in his life. He has a strong love for soccer and has lived in Munich with his family since 2013.
A charismatic French-Swiss billionaire, Robert Louis-Dreyfus was credited with starting and turning around Adidas, a global sporting goods company. He was also a shareholder in the Olympique Marseille football team, which he rescued from financial ruin after Bernard Tapie’s departure. As a result, Adidas became a worldwide sensation. Louis-Dreyfus left the company with a massive fortune, and Adidas became one of the most popular sportswear brands in the world.
He refocused the company on performance athletic shoes. He began by producing replicas of ten Adidas styles, incorporating the latest technology. He sent samples of the new shoes to modeling agencies, and these shoes soon made their way to the cover of Elle magazine. These shoes re-energized the sportswear industry and even splashed in fashion magazines. At the time, retro fashion was in.
Known for his savvy business tactics, Louis-Dreyfus was also a legendary turnaround artist. His skills and experience helped revitalize businesses like advertising giant Saatchi & Saatchi and market research company IMS International. His business acumen allowed him to turn around sportswear giant Adidas. His charisma and ability to make things happen have made him a global business icon.
After graduating from Harvard Business School, Louis-Dreyfus joined IMS, a pharmaceutical research company in the US. His investment in IMS increased twentyfold by 1988. He then became CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi from 1989 to 1993. During this period, he invested his own money in the firm. During this time, Adidas’ sales grew by more than twenty percent, and Adidas and the company were able to enter the U.S. stock market.