Active Brands Appoints New CEO
March 16, 2021
Active Brands Appoints New CEO
The former Vice President and General Manager of Nike EMEA, Christophe Merkel, takes the reins as the leading Norwegian sporting goods company continues to digitize and expand to new markets.
Broomfield, Colo. – March 16, 2021 – Active Brands, a global leader in sports apparel and equipment brands, appoints Christophe Merkel as the new CEO of the company, succeeding Espen Krogstad. The formal transition was on March 1, 2021.
Merkel has spent the past decade leading Nike’s growth in countries such as Japan, Poland, and Turkey, and joins Active Brands from the position as Vice President and General Manager of Nike EMEA North. He brings a wide set of experiences to Active Brands, from managing a major company, leading operations on different international markets and cultures, as well as spear-heading the digital transformation of a global sporting goods brand.
Active Brands has experienced immense growth since its establishment in 2010, and is today managing a portfolio of well-established sports apparel and equipment brands, including Kari Traa, Johaug, Dæhlie Sportswear, Bula, Åsnes and Sweet Protection.
“I have been impressed with Active Brands’ successful development, and their ability to keep a steady course, even through challenging times. I am particularly looking forward to exploring new ways of building close relationships with the consumers through e-commerce and new technology, as well as accelerating our global markets, particularly in North America where we already have a very solid business,” said Christophe Merkel, Active Brands CEO.
His predecessor, Espen Krogstad, is stepping down after eight years in the role. As CEO, he has led the company from a solid Norwegian base and continued growth in the Nordic region, Active Brands’ home market, through several acquisitions and expansion across Europe and North America. Today, the majority of total sales (51.3 %) are generated outside of Norway.
“2021 is going to be a very good year for the company, and it felt like the right time to hand it over,” said Espen Krogstad, former CEO of Active Brands. “This transition has been in the works for some time, and I am very pleased to see Christophe as the new CEO. I am eager to see how he will apply his impressive and versatile experience to Active Brands.”
The focus in coming years is to further seize and capitalize on opportunities created by an increased Digital Consumer focus, as well as accelerate the international growth of its core brands. The main shareholder of Active Brands is the Nordic private equity investment company FSN Capital.
About Active Brands
Active Brands is a global leader in sports apparel and equipment brands, including Kari Traa, Johaug, Dæhlie Sportswear, Bula, Åsnes and Sweet Protection. Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, the company has offices in Voss, Gothenburg, Trysil, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Denver and Shanghai. For more information, please visit activebrands.com.
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