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Patrik Frisk Stepping Down as Under Armour CEO – WWD



The Patrik Frisk period is coming to an finish at Under Armour.

On Tuesday, following the shut of the inventory market, the Baltimore-based sports activities model stated Frisk, who has been chief govt officer and president for simply over two years, will depart the place on June 1. He’ll proceed to function an adviser by way of Sept. 1.

Frisk shall be succeeded on an interim foundation by Colin Browne, chief working officer, whereas the corporate initiates an inner and exterior seek for a everlasting CEO. Browne joined the corporate in 2016 as president of worldwide sourcing and was elevated to his present position in February 2020. Previous to that he was vp and managing director for VF Corp. and has additionally labored for Li & Fung and Pentland Manufacturers plc over the course of his profession.

“This was not a reactionary transfer,” Kevin Plank, Under Armour’s founder and at the moment govt chairman and model chief, burdened to WWD. “There was nothing abrupt or speedy about it.”

However the determination was nonetheless made that it was time for a change.

“Underneath Armour has lived the lifetime of changing into the little engine that would to experiencing hyper-growth the place we added billions in gross sales a 12 months,” Plank stated. “We have been a terrific model, not a terrific firm.”

Enter Frisk, who joined in 2017 as president and chief working officer when the corporate was faltering each when it comes to gross sales in addition to with scandals starting from strip-club visits to Securities and Change Fee investigations.

The Swedish-born Frisk, who had served as CEO of Aldo Group and likewise had expertise working within the out of doors and energetic sports activities area with a résumé that included prime jobs at The North Face, Timberland and Vans, instituted a $200 million, five-year turnaround plan with a concentrate on bringing Underneath Armour again to its roots as a sports activities model. He eradicated 2,500 wholesale accounts in North America, parted methods with lots of the firm’s long-tenured executives and doubled down on sports activities attire, equipment and footwear fairly than life-style attire. He was named to succeed Plank as CEO originally of 2020.

Outcomes started to enhance, with the corporate reporting internet revenue above expectations within the fourth quarter and 12 months in 2021. However in a transitional quarter that the corporate reported in early Could, shares took a nosedive when outcomes got here in under estimates. Internet losses for the interval ended March 31 hit $59.6 million, or 13 cents a diluted share, in contrast with earnings of $77.8 million, or 17 cents, a 12 months earlier.

Revenues inched up 3.5 p.c to $1.3 billion from $1.26 billion a 12 months in the past. Wholesale gross sales grew 4 p.c to $829 million because the model’s direct-to-consumer revenues elevated to $441 million. Attire revenues elevated 8 p.c to $877 million whereas footwear slipped 4 p.c to $297 million and equipment fell 18 p.c to $97 million.

On the similar time, the corporate is dealing with elevated competitors from a blazing Lululemon in addition to Adidas and Puma, each of which have skilled speedy progress in North America. Lululemon specifically has benefited not solely from the growth in train through the pandemic, but in addition from the brand new work-from-home and office-casual period within the wake of COVID-19, which has seen its footwear and attire change into staples of on a regular basis put on.

In keeping with Plank, it’s now time for Underneath Armour to “pivot to offense.” Browne added, “It will enable us to lean into our subsequent chapter” as the corporate takes the “sturdy basis” that Frisk established and makes use of it to gasoline future progress.

“Throughout [Patrik’s] tenure, we made vital strides in advancing enterprise-wide operational excellence, and Patrik’s steadfast management has been essential to strengthening our basis and positioning the corporate for our subsequent progress part,” Plank stated. “As we seek for Patrik’s everlasting successor, Colin’s expertise as a seasoned govt in our business and main important operational elements of our enterprise will serve Underneath Armour properly as interim CEO.”

Though earnings within the final quarter have been weak, Plank burdened that selections are “not made on a quarterly foundation,” and pointed to the truth that Frisk’s five-year plan was lately “closed out,” main the corporate to look now at “progress methods. We felt it was the proper time.”

He added that his separation from the corporate was a mutual determination between Frisk and Underneath Armour.

“We’re extremely excited by what we now have within the innovation pipeline,” Browne stated, including that there’s “clearly demand for the model.” Going ahead, he believes there may be “enormous alternative in Europe and Asia” as Underneath Armour continues to increase its attain internationally.

Plank added: “We’re not in some holding sample till a everlasting CEO is known as. Colin has had the good thing about operating our digital elements and we’re going to be taking that to the next degree. We now have a sturdy govt group and we’re excited in regards to the future.”

Plank continued, “Underneath Armour is evolving to satisfy the wants of our athletes worldwide. As we transition, we’re dedicated to figuring out further alternatives to drive improved returns for our shareholders and ship for athletes, companions and teammates. There’s a enormous alternative in entrance of us. I sit up for working intently with the board through the search course of to seek out our subsequent chief who will take us to new heights. Within the meantime, we’re shifting ahead and can proceed to attach with athletes in thrilling methods, providing them precisely what they want once they want it.”

He additionally stated Browne is considered as a candidate to get the job completely however that nobody shall be “anointed” to the place.

Since becoming a member of the corporate Browne has modernized its digital and d-to-c methods and remodeled its provide chain group, the corporate stated.

“It has been the best privilege of my profession to serve Underneath Armour athletes, prospects, shareholders and teammates,” Frisk stated. “I’m extraordinarily pleased with what we’ve achieved as a group. Collectively, we now have achieved an incredible quantity of labor to strengthen this iconic model whereas considerably solidifying its operations. Colin has an intimate understanding of the Underneath Armour enterprise and our business. I’ve each confidence that his stewardship will enable for a seamless transition.”

Plank, who stated he’ll proceed to concentrate on fulfilling client demand and work to assist Browne and the “sturdy govt group,” stated he feels a “nice sense of calm that we’re shifting in the proper path.”

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