The Kevin Plank era is coming to an end at Under Armour.
In a surprise announcement before the markets opened Tuesday, the Baltimore-based company said Patrik Frisk, who joined the sports brand as president and chief operating officer in 2017, will take over as chief executive officer on Jan. 1. Plank, Under Armour’s highly visible founder, will become executive chairman and brand chief.
“Our multiyear, transition approach has ensured purposeful leadership continuity. Patrik is the right person to serve as Under Armour’s next ceo,” Plank said. “Having earned the trust and respect of our teammates, customers and shareholders, Patrik’s proven track record of industry experience, straightforward leadership style and championship of our brand and culture makes him uniquely positioned to smartly capitalize on the opportunities in front of us. As I envision our future — I look forward to further partnering with Patrik to continue our pursuit of becoming the best athletic brand in the world. I am confident that we are just getting started.”
Frisk added, “I joined Under Armour to be part of an iconic brand that demonstrated the power of sport and premium experience, when properly harnessed, is capable of unlimited possibilities. Today, I am even more resolute in this conviction. The opportunity that lies ahead of us is incredible. As our entire global team continues to lean hard into our transformation, I am honored to lead this great brand toward the realization of its full potential.”
Frisk joined Under Armour with nearly 30 years of experience in the apparel, footwear and retail industry. Prior to Under Armour, he was ceo of The Aldo Group, a footwear and accessories company, and he also spent more than a decade with VF Corp. where he held a variety of positions including coalition president of the outdoors division, which includes The North Face and Timberland.
Under the new structure, Friske will report to Plank, and will also join the company’s board of directors.
Plank, who served as chairman and ceo since he founded the company in 1996, will focus on “product elevation, amplifying the brand story and stewarding the company’s strong team culture,” Under Armour said.
Under Armour will report its third-quarter earnings on Nov. 4.