Active Brands announces Christophe Merkel as new CEO

Merkel takes the helm after spending the past decade at Nike.

Active Brands, the Nordic parent company of Kari Traa, Sweet Protection, and others, has found a new leader in a Nike veteran. Christophe Merkel, who has spent the past decade leading Nike in Poland, Turkey, and France, became Active Brands’ next CEO on Tuesday.

I am particularly looking forward to exploring new ways of building close relationships with the consumers through ecommerce and new technology,” Merkel said in a statement. 

A focus on technology is nothing new to Merkel, who highlights the “digital transformation” he led during his time with Nike. Nor is tech new to the company Merkel will now lead: Last year, Active Brands partnered with Elastic, a B2B ecommerce platform created by PlumRiver, which Emerald—the parent company of Outdoor Retailer—recently acquired. In its announcement of Merkel as the company’s new chief executive, Active Brands cited “an increased digital consumer focus” as a key area of interest in the company’s future.

Merkel replaces Espen Krogstad, who held the position for eight years. 

“This transition has been in the works for some time, and I am very pleased to see Christophe as the new CEO,” Krogstad said. “I am eager to see how he will apply his impressive and versatile experience to Active Brands.”