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May 19, 2022

Frisk to step down as Under Armour CEO

Patrik Frisk is to step down as CEO of US sportswear brand Under Armour next month, with COO Colin Browne to take the reins as interim president and CEO while a search for Frisk's successor gets underway.

By Beth Wright

Under Armour says it has initiated a comprehensive internal and external search process to identify a permanent president and CEO, while Frisk will remain with the company as an advisor through 1 September. He will relinquish his position as CEO and as a member of the board on 1 June.

Frisk, who joined Under Armour in 2017, helped architect its long-term strategic plan that underscored its commitment to athletic performance by reengineering its structure, systems, and go-to-market process.

He was appointed to CEO in January 2020, with Under Armour noting under his leadership, the company delivered industry-leading products, deepened relationships with consumers and customers, and advanced its purpose, vision, mission, and values.

“On behalf of the board, I want to thank Patrik for his valuable contributions to Under Armour over the past five years,” says Kevin Plank, Under Armour founder, executive chairman and brand chief. “During his tenure, we made significant strides in advancing enterprise-wide operational excellence, and Patrik’s steadfast leadership has been crucial to strengthening our foundation and positioning the company for our next growth phase. As we search for Patrik’s permanent successor, Colin’s experience as a seasoned executive in our industry and leading critical operational aspects of our business will serve Under Armour well as interim CEO.

“Under Armour is evolving to meet the needs of our athletes worldwide. As we transition, we are committed to identifying additional opportunities to drive improved returns for our shareholders and deliver for athletes, partners, and teammates. There is a huge opportunity in front of us.”

Frisk adds: “It has been the greatest privilege of my career to serve Under Armour athletes, customers, shareholders, and teammates. I am extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished as a team. Together, we have done a tremendous amount of work to strengthen this iconic brand while significantly solidifying its operations. Colin has an intimate understanding of the Under Armour business and our industry. I have every confidence that his stewardship will allow for a seamless transition.”

Since joining the company in 2016, Browne modernised Under Armour’s digital go-to-market strategy and direct-to-consumer model and transformed its supply chain organisation, leading to significant margin improvement and operating efficiency. Browne has held the role of COO since 2020 and oversees supply chain, global planning, sustainability, information technology, enterprise data management, commercial optimisation, go-to-market strategy, and distribution capabilities.

“What unifies and drives Under Armour is our purpose: to empower those who strive for more. This transition is an opportunity to further our long-term goals,” he says.

“I am grateful for Patrik’s leadership and partnership. As we work to deliver industry-leading innovation and premium experiences to athletes globally, we remain focused on amplifying the strong foundation that’s been set over the past few years.”

Under Armour recently reported its results for what it calls its transition quarter ended 31 March. Revenue in the period was up 3% to US$1.3bn (up 4% percent currency neutral) compared to the prior year. The sportswear specialist reported a net loss of $59.6m, compared to a net profit of $77.7m in the prior-year period.

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