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Reebok appoints new CEO to lead post-Adidas strategy

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Diving brief:

  • About six months after Authentic Brands Group completed its acquisition of Reebokthe company has appointed a new CEO for the brand. Todd Krinskya 30-year veteran of Reebok, succeeds current President and CEO, Matt O’Toole.
  • O’Toole will become executive vice president of parent company Authentic Brands in January. Krinsky has been part of Reebok’s leadership team for more than a decade, according to a company press release, and was most recently the senior vice president of Reebok Design Group, which oversees product design, development and innovation.
  • O’Toole led Reebok for 15 years and in his new role he will continue to work on the brand’s global expansion, while focusing on broader strategy and new acquisitions for Authentic Brands.

Overview of the dive:

Reebok may be changing CEOs, but this appointment doesn’t bring much new to the brand. Krinsky has worked at Reebok since the early 90s, when Reebok was still competitive with sports giants Adidas and Nike. As CEO, his diktat seems to be to stay the course set by O’Toole and his new owner.

“I am confident that under his leadership, the Unleashed strategy is poised for continued success and will drive Reebok’s global growth,” O’Toole said in a statement about Krinsky.

According to Authentic Brands, the post-Adidas strategy is already yielding significant results. This includes a 40% US market share gain and “unprecedented global growth,” the company said in its statement. The new strategy emphasizes Reebok’s best-known styles and focuses on the brand’s athletic roots. Krinsky himself led the growth of the company’s classic business, which has seen “constant growth around the world for more than a decade,” the company said.

In addition to Krinsky’s appointment as CEO, Sparc Group — which directs Reebok’s US operations — announced two other senior management promotions, appointing Erika Swan senior vice president of global operations and sourcing at Reebok Design Group and John Moore senior vice president of the US commercial market.

“Preserving Reebok’s core values ​​was an important goal as we strengthened the brand’s leadership team,” Sparc Group CEO Marc Miller said in a statement. “Todd is a product visionary who brings enormous credibility to the sports industry, and we are confident he will usher in the next wave of expansion for Reebok.”

Reebok struggled to grow under Adidas, as the brands were in direct competition with each other. Analysts say Reebok has been blocked from selling in some of the spaces where Adidas has done well, including selling retro merchandise. Now that the brand is no longer nested under sports power, it has more flexibility in its strategy.

Earlier this year, O’Toole told Retail Dive that the company’s priority is to grow market share in its current business, but he noted expansion is possible in the future. That could include basketball, in which O’Toole believes the brand has a “legitimate position.” The brand was once a major player in the category, with basketball stars Allen Iverson and Shaquille O’Neal as ambassadors.

“Expect a lot of the things that have made Reebok successful in the past,” O’Toole said at the time.

At the start of the year, some of the brand’s efforts were already gaining traction, according to the NPD Group. Reebok sales in the US footwear market jumped 60% in 2021and Matt Powell, senior industry adviser for sports at the NPD Group, said in May that the brand was one of the “hottest on the market”.

“The guardrails, should we call them, that Adidas has put in place around what Reebok might and might not do are off,” Powell said. “So Reebok can really do whatever they want today.”