Former adidas CMO and "free agent fighting plastic waste" Eric Liedtke - S1E9

In this episode we warmly welcome Eric Liedtke!
Eric spent 19 years at adidas and calls himself now a “free agent fighting plastic waste”. He takes us on a journey that includes interesting insights, learnings, and his down-to-earth understanding of leadership. Eric also gives us insights in his decision-making process before leaving adidas and talks about his new chapter: a more purpose-driven mission.


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Show Notes

[00:00] Eric Liedtke was responsible for all brands in the adidas Group and was awarded as “CMO of the Year” in 2017. He further launched a partnership with “Parley for the Oceans” to prevent plastic waste, where he is still a steering committee member.

[01:40] After talking about the COVID-19 situation in the US, Flo asks Eric about his opinion on the new normal. One of the main questions that Eric raises is: what can be done remotely and what should be prioritized when you are together physically?

[09:24] Eric is known for working for adidas, but how was his journey, and what brought him there?

[16:03] Is there a correlation between doing team sports and a professional career? Flo and Eric talk about this question, teams, and self-improvement.

[21:36] In 2006, Eric came to Germany and shares with us what it was like as an American without any German language skills. He further talks about the culture and collaboration in Germany and the differences to the US.

[28:35] Flo wants to know more about Erics journey and career planning. So, Eric shares with him the three questions he asks himself once a year to make sure he is on the right path.

[32:24] With becoming a board member, Eric was part of the team that reset the brand adidas. He tells us more about the changes, the new strategy and also the acquisition of Runtastic.

[41:06] Do people in high positions know everything? What about coping with full calendars? How is it to work with celebrities like Kayne West? Eric gives us some details on his work at adidas.

[53:58] At the end of 2019, Eric left adidas. He shares the reasons, the decision-making process and talks about his new chapter: a more purpose-driven mission.

[1:02:54] To finish this episode properly, Flo wants to know Erics biggest leadership challenge, a book recommendation, and what advice he would give his 18-year-old self.


Here you find the book “The Infinite Game” by Simon Sinek in German and English.

We also linked you to the book “The Ministry for the Future” by Kim Stanley Robinson in German and English.