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Under Armour taps former Aldo CEO for key role amid management changes

BY Marianne Wilson

Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank is stepping back from his role as president.

The sporting goods company announced that retail veteran Patrik Frisk will become president and COO, effective July 10. He will have responsibility for the company's go-to-market strategy and the successful execution of its long-term growth plan and report directly to Kevin Plank, who has also held the title of president since 2010.

From 2014 until March 2017, Frisk was CEO of global footwear and accessories company The Aldo Group. Previous to that, he spent 10 years with VF Corporation where he served as the coalition president of Outdoor Americas with responsibility for The North Face, Timberland, JanSport, lucy and SmartWool brands. He also served as VP and general manager of The North Face.

"Patrik's global experience in brand building, including a proven and disciplined record of driving growth, while enhancing profitability and efficiency, will be instrumental as we work to transform our business model to deliver long-term value for our consumers, customers and shareholders," said Plank. "The opportunity to leverage our strengths – innovative product, brand strength, premium sports marketing assets and unparalleled consumer connections – within an increasingly more digital ecosystem has never been greater."

In conjunction with Frisk's appointment, Under Armour also announced several executive changes "to better leverage its digital business, support its move toward category management, and drive greater operational efficiency across the organization."

As part of the changes, Paul Fipps was named chief technology officer with responsibility for overseeing all aspects of engineering that support Under Armour's Web and mobile applications, as well as its information technology and real estate functions. Additionally, he will lead Under Armour's connected fitness business. Most recently, Fipps served as the company's CIO and executive VP of global operations.

Also, Colin Browne has been named chief supply chain officer with responsibility for all global operations related to product sourcing and logistics. He joined Under Armour in 2016 as president of global sourcing. Prior to that, he was VP and managing director of supply chain at VF Corporation (VF).

Kevin Eskridge was named chief product officer, with oversight of the company's category management model, as well as its product, merchandising, design and innovation functions. He has been with the company since 2009, and has served in various leadership roles.

"Today's leadership appointments and the streamlining of our organizational structure are transformative steps focused on a sharper, consumer-led approach and go-to-market strategy through our category management lens," said Plank. "With the stated goals of accelerating our innovation agenda, optimizing our product assortment and creating a merchandising center of excellence, this underscores our work toward evolving from a great brand with good operations – to a great brand with great operations."

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