Under Armour CEO Stephanie Linnartz Steps Down, Founder Kevin Plank Returns

Under Armour, the renowned athletic apparel brand, announced a significant leadership transition on March 13, 2024. CEO Stephanie Linnartz, who assumed the role just over a year ago, will be stepping down, making way for founder Kevin Plank to return as the company's chief executive.

Linnartz, a seasoned executive with nearly 30 years of experience at Marriott International, took the helm at Under Armour in February 2023. Her appointment was viewed as a strategic move to leverage her expertise in digital sales and brand development, particularly her role in building Marriott's esteemed loyalty program, Bonvoy.

During her tenure, Linnartz made notable strides at Under Armour, including the launch of UA Rewards and plans to expand the brand's women's assortment to enhance its customer base. Her efforts were aimed at strengthening the company's consumer strategy and driving growth in key areas.

Acknowledging Linnartz's contributions, Plank expressed gratitude for her stating, “During her tenure, she strengthened the leadership team with executive hires in critical areas, including product, design, supply chain, consumer connectivity, and regional management. Her prior experience leading major brands was instrumental in focusing our consumer strategy.”

In her statement, Linnartz expressed gratitude for the opportunity to lead Under Armour and said, “I am proud of our progress against our strategic plan, including strengthening our team, evolving our products and marketing, and increasing our focus on profitability. We have a strong foundation in place for future growth and the company’s potential is limitless. I will continue to root for Under Armour’s success.”

Effective April 1, Plank will reassume the role of CEO, marking his return to the helm after stepping down four years ago. Plank, who founded Under Armour in 1996, has remained actively involved as the company's chairman and will continue to serve as a director on the board.

Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic advisor at Allianz, will succeed Plank as the chairman of Under Armour's board, overseeing governance and strategic direction.

As Under Armour navigates this leadership transition, the company remains focused on its commitment to innovation, performance, and consumer engagement. With Plank's return, there is anticipation for renewed vision and strategic initiatives to drive the brand forward.

The departure of Linnartz and the return of Plank mark a significant chapter in Under Armour's journey, underscoring the company's resilience and commitment to achieving long-term success in the dynamic athletic apparel market. As the brand looks to the future, stakeholders are optimistic about the opportunities ahead under Plank's leadership.