Knut Are Høgberg, currently the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, at apparel specialist ODLO has been named the company’s new CEO. Effective at the middle of July, he replaces Christophe Bézu who led the company in its current turnaround.
Høgberg’s task is to continue to strengthen ODLO within the ‘current strategic direction and to blend the company’s continuous growth with targeted value creation and efficiency improvements.’
After almost three years, Christophe Bézu steps down from his CEO position as planned and returns to the Board of Directors where he will continue to serve as an Advising Director. Bézu joined the Board of Directors of ODLO Sports Holding AG in February 2015. In September 2015, he was delegated by the Board to take over the position of CEO to lead the group through a transition phase and to return it to growth.
Under Christophe Bézu ‘s leadership the ODLO brand was ‘successfully brought back to its sports-driven roots and to sustainable growth.’ By creating a new vision focusing on innovation and performance, as well as modernizing the business model, the company adds that Bézu has set the foundation for further success.
Knut Are Høgberg (45), joined ODLO in 2015 as Chief Operating Officer and has experience in strategic management and operations execution. After graduating from the Norwegian School of Management, Høgberg began his professional career at the Boston Consulting Group in 1996 primarily serving the consulting firm’s Consumer Practice.
In 2007, he moved away from management consulting to become Chief Financial Officer of the Norwegian outdoor workwear and sportswear brand Helly Hansen. As CFO, Høgberg had a leading role in the strategic and operational turnaround of the company. From 2013, he served as Helly Hansen Chief Operating Officer and Global Retail Director, partly based in the company’s headquarters in Oslo, Norway, and partly in its North American hub in Seattle, Washington.
‘Born in Norway and engineered in Switzerland’, ODLO offers performance sportswear across six categories: functional sports underwear, running, training, cycling, Nordic disciplines and outdoors. With over 70 years of heritage, ODLO, a pioneer of performance sports underwear and ‘the three-layer principle’, is now distributed in over 35 countries.