Under Armour founder Kevin Plank is stepping down as CEOOctober 22, 2019
Under Armour has seen its CEO and founder Kevin Plank stepping down from his position on Tuesday. The current chief operating officer Patrik Frisk will be replacing him on January 1, 2020. Plank will turn to his duties as the executive chairman and brand chief according to the brand.
Plank has been the CEO of Under Armour since 1996 when he began functioning from the basement of his grandmother’s home in DC. The company moved to its Baltimore headquarters two years from then and became synonymous with the city.
Plank, now 47, has been tied to negative reports of the culture followed by the company and political tiffs and public disagreements with the President of the united states. He defended Baltimore when Trump called the city out this summer. He was one of the first CEO’s who dropped out of Donald Trump’s American Manufacturing Council in 2017 when he refused to denounce neo-Nazis and white supremacist groups such as the KKK.
Plank said in a release that Frisk as his partner during the transformative years of the company was an exceptional help and was able to translate the vision of the brand by focusing on team strategy and re-engineering the ecosystem. Frisk is honored to be able to lead the company that he joined in 2017.
These changes are taking place as the North American sales of the company are not doing too well. The latest reports have shown the sales reducing by 3%. The business with other retailers and Under Armour along with its website is falling in US sales. Telsey Advisory Group analyst Christina Fernandez said that the company is not able to garner clientele like Nike, Adidas and other brands can.
Plank has been in the eye of many scandals. He has been accused of soliciting business advice from MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle, which disturbed some employees. The Senior VP of communications at Under Armour, Kelley McCormick said that the two are friends. The spokespersons of the brand continued to reiterate that Plank was focused on growth.
A news report also revealed that the company employees were permitted to charge strip clubs to their corporate cards. This indicated that over the last three years, Plank along with his athlete friends and co-workers visited strip clubs on his company credit cards.
In their reply statement, Plank and Frisk responded by saying that though the news was hard to read, they will focus on addressing behaviors that harm the policies of the company.
2019 has only seen a rise of 12% in stocks which is a decline from the highs Under Armour saw in July when it increased 50%.