Alistair Cameron, outgoing CEO of ASICS EMEA, is familiar to many people in the South African sports industry as he has been a keen visitor to the country where he made many friends. He first got to know the Southern African market more than a decade ago when he was EMEA head of New Balance, and more recently as head of ASICS Europe – and always expressed a fondness for the country.

He left ASICS to go on sabbatical at the end of November, when Carsten Unbehaun, Häglofs CEO, took over from him.

“After more than 10 years with this beautiful Japanese performance brand, it is time for me to leave the company and be home with my family in the UK,” Cameron messaged. “I want to thank everyone that I have had the privilege to work with around the world. Thanks also to our customers for your support, we have been on a great journey together! I am now running more than ever and will pursue roles in a non-executive capacity after a break!”

Cameron has been commuting between the UK, where his family is based, and the ASICS Europe head office in Amsterdam and he signed off a message about his forthcoming more family time as less frequent flyer.

“Since 2009, Alistair has led the business in what has been both an extremely challenging and changing time in our industry,” says Hokuto Nakano, Director ASICS Corporation. “For over a decade, he has made untold contributions and played an integral part in laying the foundations to build our brand in a key region for our future success.”

Carsten Unbehaun. Photo supplied by Häglofs.

Unbehaun’s appointment is intended to further stabilize the company in a challenging market, ASICS said in a statement. A new Vice-President, Masashi Abe, will join ASICS EMEA in January 2020 from the headquarters in Kobe, Japan.

Since he joined ASICS in 2002 Unbehaun had been appointed to several senior management positions, including CEO of subsidiary Häglofs, which has been growing revenue since his appointment in 2018. Prior to that he was head of ASICS Germany and Regional MD Central Europe.