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Will New CEO Fortify Under Armour’s Growth Path?

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Can a senior Marriott executive fortify Under Armour’s growth path? The athletic footwear and apparel industry will soon find out. 

Late last month, Under Armour hired Stephanie Linnartz, the president of Marriott International, as its new president and CEO. She starts her new job, which includes a spot on the Under Armour board, on Feb. 27. Her arrival at the Baltimore-based company comes at a pivotal time for the brand, which lowered its annual revenue guidance in early November and currently has higher expectations for its international business than its home North American market, which has recently been hampered by a promotional environment. 

Linnartz, who is expected to work with company founder Kevin Plank on the brand’s “offensive approach” in 2023 and beyond, will be charged with prioritizing “digitization, product, and brand” following five years of restructuring that resulted in previous Under Armour CEO Patrik Frisk exiting in June 2022. Interim CEO Colin Browne will move back into a Chief Operating Officer role. 

Linnartz also may be leaned on to help Under Armour attract a younger demographic again and develop a brand approach in the fashion and lifestyle business that the brand has oft abandoned in favor of a more sports-performance focus. 

Before being named president of Marriott International in 2021, Linnartz served as group president of consumer operations, technology, and emerging business for the globe’s largest hospitality company.

Linnartz said, “Under Armour is an iconic brand with a huge opportunity ahead. This company has immense energy and excitement, and I am committed to building growth while maintaining operational excellence. I look forward to joining the incredible UA team, partnering with Kevin and the board, and leading this amazing company into its next chapter, delivering for athletes, teammates, customers, and shareholders.”

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Jan 4, 2023

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