Dec 22, 2022
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Marriott's Linnartz is new president and CEO of Under Armour

Dec 22, 2022

American sports giant Under Armour has announced that Stephanie Linnartz is to join the company as president, CEO, and member of its board at the end of February after a “thorough” executive search.

Stephanie Linnartz - Under Armour

It’s an interesting appointment given that she doesn’t come from the sports, fashion or retail sector. In fact, she’s currently president of Marriott International, which is the world's largest hospitality company and owns the Ritz-Carlton and Marriott hotel chains, among others.

Under Armour executive chair and brand chief Kevin Plank said she’s “a 25-year veteran of one of the world's most respected global companies” as well as 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.”

She previously led Marriott's multi-billion-dollar digital transformation, “driving scale through continuous brand innovation across the portfolio, developing premier sports league and team partnerships, while architecting the extraordinary growth of its loyalty program”.

That sports league and team partnerships experience is clearly important for Under Armour and saw Linnartz developing multi-year marquee partnerships with the NFL, NCAA, and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team.

On Linnartz joining the business, Colin Browne, who’s held her role on an interim basis since June, will return to his COO role.

Plank also called him a “world-class industry professional [who’s] done a terrific job leading throughout the transition. Highlights include refining our long-term strategy by tripling our total addressable market, validating the renewed growth fundamentals necessary to establish sector leadership, and championing our UA team culture. The board and the entire organisation are grateful for his continued leadership and are fortunate to have such an important partner for Stephanie.”

Last month, Under Armour cut its annual revenue and profit forecasts on weakening demand for sporting goods and deeper discounts.

It forecast fiscal 2023 net sales up in low single-digits compared with its earlier outlook of a 5% to 7% increase. Its latest quarterly net revenue rose 2% to $1.57 billion.

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