Reebok CMO Uli Becker Raised to CEO

Replaces Paul Harrington Amid Fight Vs. Nike

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Faced with continued market-share losses to rival Nike, Reebok has elevated its chief marketing officer to the CEO suite.
Uli Becker
Uli Becker Credit: Bernhard Huber

Parent Adidas today named Uli Becker CEO of Reebok, replacing Paul Harrington, who held the post for 12 years. Mr. Becker has been global CMO of Reebok since 2006. He was previously head of global brand marketing for Adidas from 2002 to 2006, and has worked at Adidas since 1990.

The move indicates the company is looking to market its way out of a slide in which Reebok continues to lose share to Nike in the athletic-footwear category. January sales declined 37% vs. a year earlier, when they fell more than 22%, according to Citi Investment Research. Nike sales grew about 2% in January amid a tough footwear market.

The next level?
Reebok's January share of the footwear market was 3.9%, compared to 5.7% a year earlier, according to Citi. Its agency is McGarryBowen, New York.

"Uli Becker's proven leadership and global-marketing expertise make him uniquely qualified to take the revitalization of the Reebok brand to the next level, both internationally and in the U.S.," Adidas Chairman-CEO Herbert Hainer said in a statement.
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