German sportswear major Adidas group on Thursday announced a top management change in India with Erick Haskell, ex-COO of its China operations, coming in to head the business here as it looks to move on after last year's alleged Rs 870 crore fraud at its arm, Reebok India.
Haskell takes over from Claus Heckerott, who led the restructuring efforts at Reebok India that had filed an FIR alleging fraud by its former MD Subhinder Singh Prem and COO Vishnu Bhagat, which both of them have denied.
Heckerott, in the meantime will continue to be a part of Reebok India, supporting the business model change and fresh start initiatives, the company said. He will move into a new position within the Adidas group later in 2013.
"The restructuring of Reebok India is coming to an end and the group has decided that it is time to focus on the business aspects here in India. I will be looking to leverage on my China experience for growth here," Haskell told PTI.
On the status of investigations on the case, he said: "It is largely in the hands of the authorities now and we are co-operating."
In order to avoid what had happened in Reebok India, he said, "we are ensuring that there is going to be an internal control mechanism across all verticals and we are working with our headquarter in Germany to have a comprehensive system".
He said the company also has a "zero tolerance" policy against involvement in corrupt practises by any of its franchise partners and suppliers.
Commenting on Haskell's appointment, Adidas group Chief Sales Officer Multichannel Markets, Roland Auschel said: "During the past year, we focussed on setting up Reebok India for a fresh start in 2013, while continuing to build on the strength and success of the Adidas brand.
"Erick's leadership, experience and proven track record in China make him an ideal candidate to lead the group's business in India into the future, building upon the positive momentum that Claus Heckerott has already established."
Commenting on the voluntary retirement scheme that Reebok India had offered to 200 employees last year, Haskell said 84 have taken it up and the combined employee strength of Adidas and Reebok in India now stands at 240.
With the downsizing of stores, Reebok India has 500 outlets now with two-third of the original franchisees staying on board with the company after its transition into a new business model.
Last year, the company had