Horst Widmann, a former top executive of Adidas and Puma and a former president of the Federation of the European Sporting goods Industry (FESI), has passed away. He was 80 years old. The highly diplomatic and kind-hearted executive was elected to lead FESI in 2004 and served multiple terms adding up to a mandate of about ten years. He previously served as vice president of the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) from 1998 until 2004. Just a few years ago, in 2017, when he was a little less than 77 years old, Widmann retired with honors from Puma, his employer of 27 years. By then he had spent some five decades in the sporting goods industry. Widmann actually made his start in toys. His debut in the sporting goods industry came in 1972 when he started acting as the personal assistant of Adi Dassler, the cobbler from Herzogenaurach who had founded Adidas. It was in 1990, when Adi’s side of the Dassler family sold the company to Bernard Tapie, that Widmann switched to Puma, Adidas’ German rival founded in Herzogenaurach by Adi Dassler’s brother, Rudolf Dassler. There he served as counsel for football and as a diplomat for the sporting goods industry in general. His skills and his connections, particularly in Eastern Europe and Africa, earned him the nicknames “minister of foreign affairs” and Mister Africa, because of Puma’s numerous sponsorships of African football clubs initiated by him to help the local youth, starting with the national Cameroon team in 1996.