Puma hunts senior marketer after management reshuffle

German sportswear brand Puma is on the hunt for a new UK and Ireland marketing chief after ousting David Learmonth who had been in the role for almost five years.

It is not known whether he has a job to go to, but it is understood that his departure is the result of a management restructure which also saw former managing director Andrew Peters exit the company late last year.

Learmonth reported directly to Peters, who has been replaced by Tony Ward as Puma UK managing director.

Learmonth was appointed marketing director for the UK and Ireland in 2002, replacing Andy Rigg (MW March 22, 2002). Previously, Learmonth was head of the apparel business unit at Adidas.

Learmonth was responsible for seeking a broader appeal for brand. He was part of the team that inked a deal with the Football League, to become its first official technical partner. The deal runs until 2009 and sees the brand act as sponsor and provide free football boots to apprentice players at league clubs.

Last year the brand courted controversy with a range of trainers featuring images of machine guns and the message ‘I steal for a living’, and was accused of promoting ‘gangster’ culture. It also launched a range of sports underwear called Naked, as part of a tie-up with designer Philippe Starck.

Puma distributes its products in more than 80 countries. Company figures show sales rose by almost a third in the first nine months of 2006.

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