Jan Runau | Influence 100 2022
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Jan Runau

Chief Corporate Communications Officer

A committed athlete who has completed an Iron Man triathlon, Runau brings a similar level of dedication to his work for Adidas. In total he has spent more than two decades with the sporting giant, helping the German firm navigate its way to the number two position in the global sports market after its blockbuster merger with Reebok in 2006. In 2019, he was named Spokesman of the Year by German publication PR Report, the fourth time Runau has landed the accolade.

Runau has held numerous PR roles at Adidas, and now oversees all corporate PR and internal communications for the group and its brands, including Reebok. A journalism graduate, Runau worked at several German newspapers before joining Adidas in 1991.

Can you share a moment in your career when you saw PR's direct impact on business performance?
Communication on sustainability topics, eg adidas ‘Run for the Oceans’.

What are the communications industry's biggest challenges and opportunities in the year ahead?
Challenge: geopolitical tensions. Opportunity: the new normal.

What have you most admired about this industry over the past year?
Its resilience.

What has most disappointed you about this industry over the past year?
Not enough progress on DE&I.

How have you switched off from work and maintained wellness over the past year?Doing sports, spending time with family and friends.

Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through the past year or provided inspiration?
A Coldplay playlist always helps.

If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
Teaching tennis to kids (which I do as a hobby).

Sum up 2022 in one word.