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Adidas global creative director steps down

By Huw Hughes

3 Sep 2020

Adidas global creative director Paul Gaudio has stepped down.

Gaudio first joined the German sportswear giant in 2002, according to his LinkedIn account, and was promoted to his most recent position in 2014 following stints at other companies.

“After more than 20 years of creative leadership, sports-driven innovation and brand strategy at Adidas, Paul Gaudio departed the company,” Adidas said in a statement. “We are very grateful for his contributions over his long tenure, including the last six years as our global creative director.

“Paul’s creative vision, deep understanding of consumer trends and passion for breaking down the barriers between sports and the arts has played an important role in building our brand.”

Though Adidas didn’t comment on the reason for Gaudio’s departure, many are linking it to the controversy sparked just days earlier on Instagram when Gaudio referred to Kyle Rittenhouse - a 17-year-old accused of shooting and killing two people during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin - as “also a victim”.

Using his Instagram handle ‘neckbelly’, Gaudio wrote under a picture of Rittenhouse, posted by Complex: “He is also a victim here. He’s a kid, who raised him? Who taught him? Who gave him a gun? Not excusing him by any means… but the adults who radicalized him and enabled him should be punished.”

Photo credit: Adidas media centre