Adidas’ global creative director, Michael Michalsky, has left the company after 11 years Adidas ( announced today. Although Michalsky did not give an official statement explaining his departure, it seems he will start his own fashion brand — a move he hinted about in an interview with Sportswear International two years ago.

Replacing Michalsky is Hermann Deininger, who has taken on the new role of the head of brand and creative direction. Deininger is now responsible for Adidas’ design, innovation teams and corporate identity/design. He will stay in charge of the so-called Sport Style Division and the sectors Global Trend, Lifestyle Marketing, Licences and Strategic Relationships. He started at Adidas 20 years ago and has held several different management positions at the company.

Michalsky came to Adidas in 1995 as head of design for apparel and became global creative director in 2000. In that role he helped Adidas become a sportswear lifestyle brand by pushing the heritage collection and by creating co-ops with celebrities such as Missy Elliott. He also recently used his creative input to support the German premium leather brand MCM.

— Sabine Kühnl, German Bureau Chief