Under Armor hires Stephanie Linnartz as CEO

Under Armor named Stephanie Linnartz, president of Marriott International, as its new chief executive officer on Wednesday, seven months after Patrik Frisk stepped down from the top position at the sportswear giant.

Woman. Linnartz is the third permanent CEO in Under Armor’s 22-year history, but the second since 2019, when founder, Kevin Plank, stepped away from overseeing day-to-day operations. Mr. Plank remains CEO and brand head.

“Under Armor is an iconic brand with a huge opportunity ahead,” Ms. Linnartz said in a statement. “This company has immense energy and excitement.”

Woman. Linnartz will take over on 2.27, the company said. She has worked at Marriott since 1997 and helped build the website and app to build customer loyalty. She is also on the board of directors of Home Depot.

“These fresh eyes will be really helpful for Under Armor,” said Mr. Plank, referring to Ms. Linnartz’s experience in the hospitality industry. “We have enough industry experts here at Under Armor. We are fortunate to have a leader with the perspective that Stephanie will bring.”

In recent years, Under Armor has struggled to sustain the rapid growth that impressed Wall Street in its early days as a public company. The stock is down 53 percent this year. In November, Under Armor lowered its outlook for fiscal 2023, and several top executives have left in recent months.

The company now expects sales to grow in the low single-digit percentage range, down from a previous forecast of 5 to 7 percent. Operating income is now between $270 million and $290 million, down from the previous range of $300 million to $325 million. In the quarter ended 9.30 sales rose 2 percent.

Under Armor is focused on winning back buyers in the 16-20 age bracket. According to Piper Sandler’s fall survey, Under Armor fell out of the top 10 most popular brands for teenagers.

“It’s time for us to get up,” said Mr. Plank. “We’ve really restructured for five years, put our house in order, put these parts in place, and the good news through it all is that the consumer is still with us.”

Colin Browne, the interim CEO, will return to his role as Chief Operating Officer.

“There are only two hands at the wheel,” said Mr. Plank, referring to the role of chief executive. “Stephanie must be the one steering the ship.”

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