Under Armour Inc. reached outside of fashion for its new team captain, naming Marriott International president Stephanie Linnartz as its next president and chief executive officer.
Linnartz takes the spot that was vacated when Patrik Frisk stepped down in June.
“She is a proven growth leader with a distinguished track record of brand strategy, omnichannel execution, talent acquisition and development, and passion for driving best-in-class consumer connectivity, experience and brand loyalty,” Plank said.
He said Linnartz was “responsible for leading Marriott’s multibillion-dollar digital transformation” and for partnering with sports leagues and growing the company’s loyalty program.
“The board is confident that Stephanie — along with our leadership team and all of our key stakeholders — will accelerate our ability to realize the substantial opportunities for Under Armour as both an operating company and aspirational brand,” Plank said.
Linnartz will also serve as a director and will work closely with Colin Browne, who has been leading the business on an interim basis and will return to his post as chief operating officer.
“Under Armour is an iconic brand with a huge opportunity ahead,” Linnartz said. “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.”
She’ll certainly have her work cut out for her as fashion continues to slog through a tough period with high inflation and price pressure.
Last month, Under Armour posted $1.6 billion in the second-quarter revenues, beating estimates, but lowered its forecast for the year as a result of what it characterized as a “more challenging retail environment and additional negative impacts from changes in foreign currency.”
Under Armour described Linnartz’s appointment as the product of a “thorough and deliberate search.”
Having a designated CEO allows Under Armour to head into the New Year on a firmer footing.
But there are still a host of corner officers standing empty in fashion.
The RealReal Inc. has been led by co-interim CEOs since June, when founder Julie Wainwright stepped down abruptly. Sonia Syngal left Gap Inc. in July. Michelle Gass left a void at Kohl’s Corp. in November, when she stepped away to start next month at Levi Strass & Co., where she is set to succeed CEO Chip Bergh.
And just this month, VF Corp. said Steve Rendle retired “by mutual agreement with the board” after the company cut profit estimates several times and debt from the $2.1 billion Supreme deal was seen as pressuring the company’s balance sheet.