Leder & Schuh is strengthening its executive board by bringing in a sports-retail specialist. The big Austrian shoe retailing group is looking to expand its banners while digitalizing and focusing more on the sports-lifestyle consumer segment.

The company has hired Michael Rumerstorfer, who has a long history of leadership in sporting goods companies, to replace Thomas Graz on the company's executive board. He will sit alongside Wolfgang Neusser, who joined the board in July following the departure of Werner Weber. Rumerstorfer, 39, will oversee purchasing, marketing, distribution, and supply chain management.

He comes from Signa Sports, a multi-banner sports e-tailer where he was the managing director. Before that, he was the chief executive of Karstadt Sports, which belongs to the same Austrian-based group. He previously worked at Planet Sports, Sport Ebyl & Sports Experts and Amer Sports. He also spent eight years at Red Bull in Graz, the Austrian city which is the home town of Leder & Schuh. Signa has not yet announced his successor.

Operating under only two banners, Humanic and Shoe4You, after a recent reorganization, Leder & Schuh had annual sales of €335m last year, down from €374 million in 2017. It has 201 retail outlets in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.