National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

Pandora CEO leaving company to head Puma

2013-04-18

Copenhagen, Denmark--Bjørn Gulden, who has been CEO of Pandora for little more than a year, is resigning to head sportswear company Puma, effective July 1. Pandora has tapped Allan Leighton, the current chairman of the company, as his replacement.

Gulden became CEO of Copenhagen-based Pandora on March 1, 2012, the result of a search conducted after the former CEO Mikkel Vendelin Olesen resigned in August 2011 in the face of sliding sales.

The company’s board of directors will recommend that Gulden continue to be part of the company by joining the board. Marcello Bottoli, currently deputy chairman who served as interim CEO before Gulden’s hire, will succeed Leighton as chairman of the board.

In a statement issued by the company, Gulden said it was difficult for him to leave Pandora.

“Pandora is a great business which is performing well, but the sports industry has always been a major part of my life, and my role at Puma will also allow my family to remain in Germany,” he said.

Gulden is a former professional soccer player who came to Pandora from the Essen, Germany-based Deichmann Group, which runs 3,000 shoes and sporting goods stores in 25 countries, including the Rack Room Shoes and Off Broadway Shoes stores in the United States. Prior to that, he was an executive at Adidas.

Puma is owned by luxury goods conglomerate PPR, which is set to rebrand as Kering (pronounced “caring”) this summer.