Kevin Plank on Under Armor CEO Search, New Footwear Franchise – Footwear News
Under Armor Inc. is looking to the future, Executive Chairman and Chief Brand Officer Kevin Plank said in a call today with investors – which includes actively searching for a new CEO and preparing for the unveiling of a major new footwear platform.
The Baltimore, Maryland-based sports company released its fiscal first quarter results on Wednesday, reporting revenue of $1.3 billion, which was flat from last year’s results and in line with expectations. . On a currency-neutral basis, revenue increased by 2%.
Net income totaled $8 million, or $0.02 of diluted earnings per share, in the quarter. Adjusted net income was $15 million, or $0.03.
Chief Financial Officer David Bergman noted that the company’s results included “a 10 point headwind from proactive order cancellations due to supply constraints.” Under Armor was also negatively impacted by the latest COVID-19 lockdowns in China, resulting in an 8% decline in revenue in the Asia-Pacific region.
Its North American business, meanwhile, was flat in the first quarter (or up 1% on a currency-neutral basis), and EMEA sales were down 1% in the period (or up 6% on a currency-neutral basis).
After a series of lackluster quarters and the unexpected departure of former president and CEO Patrik Frisk in May, Plank acknowledged on the call that Under Armor was in a transitional phase, but stressed that he did not seek to recreate past successes. “We have no illusions of ‘returning’ to a previous chapter in our past. We are both looking to move forward,” he said.
To that end, he said the board was conducting a formal search for its new CEO, led by industry veteran Karen Katz. “The pool we have to choose from is comprehensive and robust, including [interim CEO] Hake [Browne]. And we’ll be making a terrific choice for the next CEO of Under Armor before the end of the year,” Plank said.
He added that the board’s marching orders for the next chief executive are to “take care of the brand, optimize the assets we already have – because there are so many, from partnerships to relationships with athletes – to be opportunistic when it makes sense, to generate love for the UA brand, and the rest will follow.
In the meantime, however, Plank said the company isn’t standing still. This fall, Under Armor is set to launch new performance footwear technology that will bolster its already estimated $1.5 billion footwear business. The franchise will launch with a training shoe before expanding to other categories where Under Armor competes.
Plank said the technology was discovered through an athlete’s insight and had the potential to “change the landscape of athletic footwear.”