Chinese sports retailer Li Ning (2331.HKG) will replace its current CEO with founder Li Ning and promote another executive as part of a three-year plan to increase profitability, The Wall Street Journal reported. Li Ning, the former Chinese athlete for whom the country's top domestic sports brand is named, will temporarily replace the current chief executive Zhang Zhi Yong, until a permanent CEO is named. The company will also raise Kim Jin Goon, a partner at the US buyout firm TPG Group which is a major investor in Li Ning, from a nonexecutive director to executive director and vice chairman. Among the company's first objectives will be to normalize inventory levels in the next six to 12 months, Kim said. The transformation may require Li Ning to borrow money, possibly from TPG. Li Ning profits fell 65% last year as it faced increased competition from foreign and domestic brands.