CHAPTER 1

SUCCESS

With an Introduction by Jochen Zeitz

When I was asked to take over the helm of PUMA at twenty-nine, I inherited a company nearing bankruptcy. Three CEOs had failed in the previous three years and the company had lost money for eight consecutive years. In my first two years at PUMA, the company had nothing to show in terms of success. During this time I felt tremendous happiness when at least our athletes won. Following drastic cost-cutting measures, the only three well-known athletes whom I had been able to keep under sponsoring contracts all won gold medals in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. Years later I had the same feeling of deep satisfaction when Serena Williams, one of our PUMA athletes, rose up in the tennis world ...

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