43 of 2022

                          Newsletter No 43/11 November 2022                                 


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Puma boss Bjørn Gulden named new Adidas CEO

Puma’s chief executive Bjørn Gulden will replace Kasper Rorsted as Adidas CEO, the German multinational sportswear giant has announced.

Gulden will begin his role as chief executive on 1 January 2023 and Rorsted will step down on 11 November 2022. Rorsted’s departure is sooner than expected, as Adidas announced in August that he would only leave the company in 2023. Harm Ohlmeyer, the company’s chief financial officer, will lead the company in the interim until 31 December 2022.

Norwegian Bjørn Gulden has been CEO of Puma since 2013. In the past, he worked at Adidas in numerous roles, including as senior vice president of apparel and accessories from 1992 to 1999.

Additionally, Gulden was CEO of Danish jewellery brand Pandora, managing director of Europe’s largest footwear retailer Deichmann, president of Rack Room Shoes, and held various management positions at outdoor apparel company Helly Hansen. He also holds the position of chairman of the board of Salling Group, Denmark’s largest food retailer.

Gulden was a professional football and handball player. He played football for 1. FC Nürnberg in the German 2. Bundesliga, and for Bryne and Strømsgodset in the Norwegian Premier League and handball for Haslum in Norway’s first league.

“We are very pleased to welcome Bjørn Gulden back at Adidas. Bjørn Gulden brings almost 30 years of experience in the sporting goods and footwear industry. As a result, he knows the industry extremely well and draws on a rich network in sport and retail. Bjørn Gulden already served Adidas successfully for seven years in the 1990s.

“As CEO of Puma, he re-invigorated the brand and led the company to record results. The supervisory board of Adidas AG is convinced that Bjørn Gulden will head Adidas into a new era of strength and is looking very much forward to a successful cooperation,” said Thomas Rabe, chairman of the supervisory board of Adidas AG.

Rabe thanked outgoing CEO Kasper Rorsted: “We would like to thank Kasper Rorsted for his major achievements at Adidas. He strategically repositioned the company and fast-forwarded its digital transformation. In North America, the world’s largest sporting goods market, Adidas has doubled its sales.

“In addition, Adidas has strengthened its leadership position in sustainability and increased diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the company. Following the successful divestiture of TaylorMade, CCM Hockey and Reebok the company is now able to focus its efforts on its core brand Adidas. We wish Kasper Rorsted all the best for his future endeavours.”


Levi’s appoints Michelle Gass as president and CEO-in-waiting

Levi Strauss & Co., the owner of brands Levi’s, Dockers and Beyond Yoga, has named Michelle Gass as its new president, and also announced that she will succeed Chip Bergh as the company’s CEO within the next 18 months. She joins LS&Co. from department store Kohl’s where she was chief executive officer.

Gass will begin her role as president on 2 January 2023, and will be responsible for leading the Levi’s brand and the company’s global digital and commercial operations. She is also expected to join the LS&Co. board of directors.

“We are delighted that an executive with Michelle’s background, experience and stature is joining as president to work side-by-side with Chip for a meaningful transition period before becoming CEO,” said Bob Eckert, chairman of the LS&Co. board of directors.

“Michelle’s deep retail and omnichannel experience combined with her track record of building brands and meaningful innovation is a perfect fit for the skills needed to lead this company for the long term and create significant value for our stakeholders.”

Qualities of a leader

LS&Co. said in a statement that Gass brings exceptional direct-to-consumer experience to LS&Co., having led the transformation strategy at Kohl’s to position the company for long-term profitable growth. She has driven a significant reinvention effort for more than 1,100 Kohl’s stores, while growing the digital business at a double-digit compounded annual growth rate to more than $6bn.

She has also led a number of strategic innovations at Kohl’s, including the introduction of Amazon returns and spearheading the long-term strategic partnership with Sephora, which has expanded to 600 Sephora at Kohl’s shops.

While at Starbucks, she held numerous leadership roles over nearly 17 years and was instrumental in leading many product innovations, including expanding the Frappuccino blended beverage brand and launching the Starbucks loyalty programme. Her last assignment at Starbucks was as president, Starbucks EMEA, leading its European, Middle East and Africa business.

Gass has an MBA from the University of Washington, Michael G. Foster School of Business, and a B.S. in chemical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. In addition to serving on the PepsiCo board of directors, she is also on the board of the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the National Retail Federation. She previously served on the Cigna and Ann Inc. boards of directors.

“One of my biggest legacies at LS&Co. will be my successor, passing the baton to someone who will take the company to the next level. I am thrilled not just about Michelle being my successor, but also about having the chance to work closely together during the transition,” Bergh said.

“I have known Michelle for a decade, and she has many of the qualities we value in our leaders: she is humble, approachable, transparent and driven by purpose and values. She has a track record of building brands and talent. Michelle also brings more than 25 years of retail and omnichannel experience, along with a demonstrated track record of innovation, driving transformational ‘big ideas’ not just on products but also business models. With this move, I am even more confident in this company’s future.”

Gass commented: “I am thrilled to join Levi Strauss & Co., with its iconic brands, incredible team and unwavering commitment to corporate citizenship. With the Levi’s brand stronger than ever, Dockers reinvigorated and the Beyond Yoga acquisition expanding the company’s addressable market, I look forward to working alongside Chip and his talented team to realise the incredible potential for the business in the years to come.”    Bizcommunity


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SARS furthers International Tax Cooperation in Africa and among BRICS countries


Tshwane, 4 November 2022 – The South African Revenue Service (SARS) participated in two multilateral meetings in the current week to cement international tax co-operation in Africa and among the BRICS Countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

In line with our Strategic Objective 8-working with stakeholders and Strategic Objective 9-building public confidence and trust, SARS has been progressively working to rebuild our international partnerships with key organizations such as OECD, Global Forum on Tax Transparency, ATAF, WCO, SADC, SACU, United Nations and the IMF as well as bilaterally with other Tax and Customs administrations. SARS actively participates and contributes constructively at these forums as was evident again during the past week.

The first meeting was the hybrid 7th Annual General Assembly of the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) in Lagos, Nigeria, from 31 October to 3 November 2022. This was followed by the virtual meetings of BRICS, hosted by the State Taxation Administration (STA) of China as the current BRICS Chair. This comprised of the BRICS Tax Experts and Heads of Tax Authorities on 2 and 3 November 2022.


During the 7th Biannual ATAF General Assembly, Togo and South Africa were re-elected as Chair and Vice Chair of ATAF, respectively. The other Council members elected for a two-year term were Nigeria, Rwanda, Botswana, Burundi, Uganda, Zambia, The Gambia and Morocco. The Council provides strategic guidance and leadership to the work of the ATAF Secretariat. ATAF also celebrated the admission of its 41st member, South Sudan.

The theme of the 7th General Assembly, Rethinking Revenue Strategies: The Human Face of Taxation hybrid event saw more than 500 attendees representing 33 tax administrations and 15 partner organizations. The meeting discussed various tax-related issues, including the importance of Domestic Resource Mobilization to development financing, technology and human capital, the Two-Pillar Solution aimed at addressing the tax challenges arising from the digitalization of the economy, reforms to enhance fiscal resource mobilization, the maximization of natural resource rents, as well as curbing illicit financial flows.

Another highlight of the meeting was the launch of the Handbook on the Future of Resources Taxation. Ten ideas are put forward in this handbook on how the current system of mining taxation could be improved and resource-rich countries could maximize returns from mineral wealth.

Commissioner Edward Kieswetter set the scene during his presentation on the subject of Tax and Technology – Human Centered Socially Responsible Automation. In his address the Commissioner highlighted the progress made in building a SMART Modern SARS.

He furthermore emphasized the importance of humanization and reminded the audience, “that the smarts that we employ in our tax administrations, the technology and data that we deploy, ultimately are about people. It is about the citizens that we serve. It is about the taxpayers whose contributions we honour and it is about our employees who make all of this possible”.

For more information on the meeting, refer to www.ataftax.org.


This was the 10th year the BRICS Tax Authorities met and the first year in which regional and international organisations participated in the BRICS conversation.

The highlight of the Heads of Tax Authorities meeting was the endorsement to launch the first issue of the BRICS Tax Best Practices compilation, a collection of insightful administration case studies from BRICS Tax Authorities.

The case studies showcase some of the BRICS members’ best practices in Cooperative Compliance Program of CONFIA, New Tax Debt Management Strategy, the Effective Use of AEOI Data—CRS Tool, Faceless Tax Administration, AIS and Updating of Returns, Smart Individual Income Tax (IIT) Reconciliation, Tax Awareness Month, Coordination of Tax and Customs Pricing for Imported Goods as well as Taxpayer Compliance Evaluation and Monitoring.

South Africa will assume the Chairmanship of BRICS at the beginning of 2023 and will subsequently host the BRICS Tax meetings in 2023.

“International cooperation is crucial in enabling SARS to deliver on is mandate. Working with and through stakeholders to improve the tax system is implicit in our strategic direction. We endeavour to have effective and beneficial partnerships with all stakeholders, both local and international, in the tax ecosystem that deliver maximum benefits for the taxpayers and traders, government and the public. We leverage each other’s strengths to resolve tax administration challenges and improve voluntary tax compliance”, said Commissioner Kieswetter.

Next week, in Spain, the Global Forum on Tax Transparency including the African Initiative convened to discuss progress made towards the commitment to tackle tax evasion through multilateral cooperation and exchange of information (EOI). Given the strategic importance of exchange of information for SARS, Commissioner Kieswetter would be in attendance to deepen cooperation with our treaty partners with respect to the exchange of information and mutual assistance.

For more information contact Media@sars.gov.za


Truworths – AGM results

Truworths advised that at the annual general meeting (“AGM”) of the company’s shareholders (“shareholders”) held through electronic participation on Thursday, 3 November 2022, all the ordinary resolutions and special resolutions, as set out in the notice of the AGM dated Friday, 30 September 2022, were approved by the requisite majority of shareholders. The required special resolutions are not required to be lodged with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission. Truworths’ total shares in issue were 408 498 899 (“shares in issue”) and shares in issue eligible to vote at the AGM were 368 606 629 (“voteable shares”). The number of voteable shares is calculated as the total number of Truworths shares in issue, less repurchased shares and share scheme shares held by the group, on the meeting record date. The number of Truworths’ shares represented at the AGM that participated electronically was 299 720 165, representing 81.31% of the voteable shares.

Truworths – business update

Truworths International announced that Group retail sales for the first 17 weeks (from 4 July 2022 to 30 October 2022) of the 2023 financial period (‘the current period’) increased by 15.5% to R5.9 billion, compared to the first 17 weeks (from 28 June 2021 to 24 October 2021) of the 2022 financial period (‘the prior period’ or ‘2022’).

Due to the inclusion of a 53rd week in the 2022 financial period, the first 17 weeks of each of the 2022 and 2023 financial periods are not comparable. Compared to the corresponding 17-weeks of the 2022 financial period (from 5 July 2021 to 31 October 2021), retail sales for the current period increased by 13.1%.

In the current period, account sales comprised 52% (2022: 49%) of Group retail sales, with account and cash sales increasing by 21.5% and 9.7%, respectively, relative to the prior period. Compared to the corresponding 17-week prior period, wherein account sales comprised 49%, account and cash sales increased by 19.2% and 7.1%, respectively.

Most consecutive fashion magazine front covers (male model)

The most consecutive fashion magazine front covers by a male model is 170, achieved by Girolamo Panzetta (Italy) by appearing on the Japanese men’s fashion magazine LEON, as of 2 November 2015.Advertisements

Panzetta has appeared as a professional model on the front cover of Leon since the publication’s launch in September 2001. The latest publication certified for the record is the December 2015 issue, published on 24 October 2015.

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