Under Armour founder Kevin Plank relinquishes CEO post

The Associated Press

BALTIMORE (AP) — Under Armour founder Kevin Plank will step down as CEO in the new year to become the company's executive chairman and brand chief.

Patrik Frisk, who became president and chief operating officer two years ago, will be the athletic gear company's second CEO since it was founded in 1996.

The 56-year-old Frisk will report to Plank and will take a seat on the board.

"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," Plank said in a statement.

Plank initially ran his business out of the basement of his grandmother's home, focused on selling sweat-wicking clothing. It's become a $5.1 billion global business.

Under Armour Inc. has threatened Nike, landing major deals with Major League Baseball and star athletes like the NBA's Stephen Curry.

But it also faces threats of its own, like the growing popularity of athleisure wear, clothing that can be worn from work straight to the yoga studio.

Last year Under Armour said that it was cutting about 400 jobs as part of its restructuring efforts. The company began streamlining in 2017 after explosive sales growth petered out as consumers shifted some of their dollars toward active lifestyle brands like Lululemon.

Shares of the Baltimore company are down 23% since its last earnings report in July. Its stock rose 15 cents to $18.32 per share Tuesday.