Under Armor's stock is up several percent in pre-market trading after Kevin Plank, founder/CEO of the apparel company, is stepping down after more than two decades. Chief Operating Officer Patrik Frisk will replace Plank, effective Jan. 01, reported CNBC.
Plank will take a more passive role in daily operations in 2020, will transition to executive chairman and brand chief.
"Patrik is the right person to serve as Under Armour's next CEO," Plank said in a statement. "As my partner during the most transformative chapter in our history, he has been exceptional in his ability to translate our brand's vision into world-class execution by focusing on our long-term strategy and re-engineering our ecosystem through a strategic operational and cultural transformation."
Under Armour's stock initially dipped on the news then rallied in pre-market trading.
Plank has disappointed investors with a failed turnaround since the stock crashed -70% from late 2015 into 1Q18.
Frisk joined the company in July 2017 as CFO. He has since implemented a three-year transformation plan that will ensure the apparel company will make a rebound.
But revitalizing North America, one of Frisk's top objects, has been short of success. The latest sales figures for North America show a -3% decline for 2Q19. The company expects a "slight decline" in North American sales for 2019.
"The opportunity that lies ahead of us is incredible," Frisk said in a statement. "As our entire global team continues to lean hard into our transformation, I am honored to lead this great brand toward the realization of its full potential."
Under Armour's performance has been nothing short of a disappointment for nearly 17 quarters. During that time, Plank and top executives were exposed by The Wall Street Journal for using company funds at strip clubs in Baltimore.
What the Journal missed, which was an even bigger story, is that Plank and top executives hosted the wildest parties at his 18 million dollar farm in Baltimore County. All of the partying has been suspected to be on the company's dime.
Plank and his brother, Scott Plank, sold company stock over the years to expand their real estate empire, called Sagamore Development Company. They built an exotic hotel, and a whiskey distillery, as the shares in the company were more than halved in the last three-plus years.
After the #MeToo movement hit Under Armour in 2018, mainly because lower-level staff, women staff to be exact, complained about a highly toxic male environment in management, it now seems that one year later, maybe for obvious reasons -- Plank has stepped down.