Change at the top of the world's largest sporting goods retailer. Franz Julen has informed the Board of Management of his retirement, after 16 years as CEO of INTERSPORT International Corporation (IIC), at the end of 2016. Up until this date, he will remain as CEO with full operative responsibility. The search for his successor has been initiated.
After his start as Chief Operating Officer of IIC in 1998, Franz Julen was subsequently appointed CEO in 2000. At that time, the INTERSPORT Group was active in 16 countries and generated retail sales of EUR 5 billion. Under Julen’s leadership, IIC, which as of 2012 also includes the sports lifestyle chain The Athlete's Foot, expanded across all continents and achieved retail sales of EUR 10.8 billion in 66 countries by the end of 2014, establishing it as the world's leading sports retailer.
Jussi Mikkola, Chairman of the Board of Management of IIC says: "Franz Julen is a great personality and will leave IIC with an enormous track record. The positive development of IIC and the entire Group during his term of office is very closely linked to the person and the excellent leadership skills of Franz Julen. He has managed to turn a buying group into a modern, globally leading, retail organization. We therefore regret his departure very much, but it is with much respect. Though we have already commenced the CEO succession process, nothing changes how we operate during the interim period. Franz will remain as CEO with full operative responsibility until 31.12.2016. The strategic direction for the next 5 years is clear and knowing of his retirement early on will give us adequate time to find the suitable successor.”
Franz Julen: "16 years is a long time as CEO, especially in today's fast moving world. I am convinced that the end of 2016 is the right time to step back and enter a new phase of my career, both for INTERSPORT and me. In that next phase, I will no longer work on the operational side, but take on board memberships outside of INTERSPORT. The time has come to let go and to clear the way. The approved strategy is the right one and I am confident in the Group’s ability to continue growing. I will leave believing strongly in its long-term future.”
Even in a year without a football World Cup or Olympics, INTERSPORT and The Athlete's Foot revenues developed beyond expectations. In the first nine months, INTERSPORT realized retail sales of EUR 7.73 billion, an increase of 5.8% compared to the same period of last year (EUR 7.3 billion in 2014). The Athlete's Foot, in the first 9 months of this year, grew even by 9% (16.2% on a constant currency basis). "We are certainly heading for a record. In October, the positive sales trend continued. If winter does not let us down in November and December, INTERSPORT will increase by 7% to 8% compared to 2014, and the Group will surpass EUR 11.5 billion (in 2014 EUR 10.8 billion) for the first time", Franz Julen states positively about the future.
For further information:
Chief Executive Officer
T +41 31 930 78 04
Chairman of the Board of Management
T +358 400 703 002
About INTERSPORT and The Athlete’s Foot
With retail sales of EUR 10.5 billion in 2014 and more than 5,400 affiliated stores in 44 countries, INTERSPORT is the world's leading sporting goods retailer. In December 2012 INTERSPORT acquired the sports lifestyle chain, The Athlete's Foot, with around 400 stores in 25 countries and retail sales of EUR 290 million in 2014. The INTERSPORT Group is represented in 66 countries on all five continents.