More than 900 million products per year. Eleven million pairs of sneakers made from ocean plastic. Over one million job applications per year. Or in other words: three stripes, one global brand and several hundred students at 8 o'clock in the morning in the auditorium of Frankfurt School of Finance & Management: on September 17, 2019, Kasper Rørsted, CEO of Adidas, was a guest at the business school. After a short tour of the “FS Life” gym, he spoke to students and employees about "creating value through purpose".
In his 45-minute talk, the CEO, who took the reins of the global company in 2016, not only talked about strategy, markets and marketing, but also gave the audience special insight into the everyday life of a CEO. For example, Kasper Rørsted follows a clear routine every day: Waking up at 5:20 and biking to work, sports from 6:00 to 7:00 am and focussed work from 7:30 am to around 6 pm. This however works only with a clear focus, the Dane explained in the following question and answer session.
Kasper Rørsted declares – full of conviction – that he has the best job in the world. His duties not only include meeting partners worldwide or letting the brand ambassador Kanye West play his latest songs in a private concert, but also unpleasant things. "A CEO has to do the things that nobody likes," says Kasper Rørsted simply. “This also includes difficult personnel decisions.”
When asked about his recipe for a successful career, Kasper Rørsted says: "I have always had great bosses and I have always taken on new and international challenges." With a big dose of luck, risk-taking and a positive attitude, anyone can go a long way in business. He summed up his advice to the students: "Find a job that you really like doing – almost every day. And please, wear fewer brown shoes and suits and more sneakers.”