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Leadership and development

This is how we lead and develop our talents.

Our learning and development offerings focus on developing the leadership behaviors and essential skills needed to ensure our continued success. Our ambition is to inspire and nurture talented and diverse leaders who exemplify our leadership behaviors. 

Leadership groups 

We have four standing groups to ensure leadership excellence and develop future leaders. The first two groups, the Core Leadership Group (CLG) and the Extended Leadership Group (ELG) focus on excellence in execution of our strategy and ensuring global consistency. The other two groups focus on developing global, regional and functional succession pipelines. 

  • The Core Leadership Group (CLG) is made up of approximately 20 senior leaders. Members of this group jointly represent critical positions and roles across our company worldwide. This group partners with the Executive Board in leading the execution of our business strategy. The CLG is also responsible for developing and inspiring the next generation of leaders. In addition, selected members of this group are potential successors for the Executive Board. 
  • The Extended Leadership Group (ELG) consists of approximately 110 members. They collaborate across markets and functions to lead the execution of our strategic initiatives and to drive continuous improvement and consistency throughout the organization. The ELG also mentors and sponsors the Global and Local High Potential Groups. In addition, selected members are potential successors for the CLG. 
  • The Global High Potential Group (GHIPO) enables us to identify and develop global high-potential leaders who have the ability to take on more complex, demanding and higher-level responsibilities at an executive level.  
  • The Local High Potential Group (LHIPO) enables us to identify and develop local high-potential leaders who have the ability to take on more complex, demanding and higher-level responsibilities at a global or regional leadership level. The program is designed to build peer relationships and to give participants cross-functional and cross-cultural exposure.

Leadership development experiences 

Our Leadership Framework is based on three critical behaviors – Creativity, Collaboration and Confidence (the ‘3Cs’). The 3Cs define the behaviors that are expected of employees at adidas. The framework provides a global and universal language that is inclusive, reduces the need for local interpretations, and outlines concrete behaviors that serve as a measure of leadership effectiveness. Creativity, Collaboration and Confidence serve as the foundation for the way we hire, promote and evaluate performance. 

We offer a portfolio of leadership development experiences designed for every level of management across all markets and functions. These include the Manager Development Experience (MDE), Director Development Experience (DDE) and Executive Development Experience (EDE). These interactive learning experiences support the development of leadership skills that are directly linked to the participants’ current roles and responsibilities.


We offer a variety of programs for graduates and undergraduates in our offices worldwide. 

  • Apprenticeship and Dual Study Program: The adidas Apprenticeship Program offers young pupils who want to join our company directly out of school the opportunity to gain business experience in a two- to three-year rotation program. The Dual Study Program for young school graduates offers – in cooperation with various universities – theoretical and practical experience at adidas. 
  • Global Trainee Program: The Functional, Digital and Design Trainee Program is an 18- to 24-month program providing graduates with an international background and excellent educational credentials the opportunity to start a functional career within adidas. It comprises assignments in various functional and cross-functional departments, of which at least one takes place abroad. 
  • Internships: Our global internship program offers students three to six months of work experience within adidas. 

Other development opportunities are offered through our internal Learning Campus, access to LinkedIn Learning courses and other learning programs.