He starts the executive board role of head of global brands in March and replaces Erich Stamminger who has decided to leave the business after 30 years for personal reasons. Liedtke will be responsible for growing the group’s Adidas, Reebok, TaylorMade and Rockport brands as the company looks to kickstart efforts to generate global sales of €17bn (£14.4bn) by 2015 following poor sales last year.
Liedtke will report to Adidas Group chief executive Herbert Hainer and has oversight of its top marketers including senior vice-president of global brand marketing Nicole Vollebregt, who is masterminding its World Cup 2014 strategy.
He has held a number of marketing roles since joining the business in 1994 including director of footwear marketing and vice president of brand marketing. Most recently, he masterminded last year’s launch of the Adidas Boost sports performance range.
The appointment comes at a key time for the Adidas business, particularly in Western Europe where Nike has aggressively carved into its dominance of the football market over the last 18 months. It formed a new management structure for the region last October to halt its rival’s advances, a move that saw it consolidate its sales processes and management of key wholesale accounts ahead of the World Cup. The company has a lot riding on the tournament this year, which it has predicted will deliver record football sales of more than €2bn (£1.7bn) in 2014