The German newspaper Handelsblatt calls him "Mister Puma". At one time, Johan Zeitz managed to change the fate of the brand - when the brand's sneakers lined up on supermarket shelves and the company ceased to be profitable, he proposed an ambitious reorganization plan. Seven thousand people lost their jobs when he, at the age of 30, became the company's brand director in 1993. In 1994, Puma started making a profit.
Zeitz stepped down as CEO of Puma last year. Frans Koch, who has worked for Puma since 2007 and was in charge of the brand's global strategy, has been appointed as his successor. And Zeitz headed the newly created Sport & Lifestyle division, part of the PPR. These appointments were announced in 2010 when it was decided that Puma would become the core of the new brand.
Koch inherited the Zeitz five-year plan. His goal was to bring sales to 4 billion euros by 2015 year. This is not an easy task, given the fact that the company suffered from rising cotton prices. Not to mention the economic crisis.
In the 2010 fiscal year, net profit was constantly increasing: from 79,6 million euros in 2009 to 202,2 million in 2010. Last year, Puma's net profit was 230,1 million euros. In the middle of the fiscal year, the sporting goods company announced a profit decline. Shares fell by 4,2%. Zeitz criticized the situation and spoke about this in the last issue of the German magazine Manager Magazin. According to him, no one in the company can be satisfied with such results, and Koch is responsible for its restoration.
The search for the successor of Zeitz to the post of executive chairman of the Board of Directors is in full swing. PPR announced in a press release that a new chairman should be appointed by December 1. As a possible candidate, WWD considers Jean-Francois Palloux, currently, the managing director of the PPR group, fashionunited.ru reports.