March 26, 2015 / 5:49 PM / in 3 years

Adidas replaces chief of TaylorMade golf unit

LONDON/BERLIN (Reuters) - German sporting goods maker Adidas named David Abeles to lead its struggling TaylorMade golf unit, it said on Thursday, replacing Ben Sharpe, who is leaving for personal reasons.

A golf ball is shown next to a 15-inch cup on a putting green at the TaylorMade golf facility in Carlsbad, California May 9, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Abeles returned to TaylorMade in February after leaving in 2013 to run Competitor Group, a U.S. operator of marathons and half-marathons. He was at TaylorMade for 12 years before.

TaylorMade, one of Adidas’s core business units, has been struggling with falling sales due to the declining popularity of golf. Adidas is also trying to improve its performance in North America, the world’s top sportswear market, where it has fallen further behind its arch rival Nike.

Reporting by Martinne Geller in London and Emma Thomasson in Berlin; Editing by David Holmes

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