New role for Plank at Under Armour as Frisk elevated to CEO
Patrik Frisk, currently the president and chief operating officer of US sportswear brand Under Armour, has been promoted to chief executive.
In an unexpected development announced today, the 56-year-old Frisk will take up his new role on 1 January, 2020, succeeding Kevin Plank (pictured) who is switching to executive chairman and brand chief.
Frisk will report to the 47-year-old Plank who has headed up the firm since its foundation in 1996, and will continue to lead the board of directors, “while focusing on product elevation, amplifying the brand story and stewarding the company’s strong team culture,” according to Under Armour.
Frisk only joined the organisation in 2017, but has more than 30 years of experience in the apparel, footwear and retail industry, including, prior to Under Armour, as chief executive of The Aldo Group, the footwear and accessories company.
At Baltimore-based Under Armour, Frisk has been a key figure in the company’s three-year transformation plan, including efforts to revive its fortunes in North America where revenue was down 3.2 per cent in the three months to the end of July amid intensified competition from the likes of Nike and Adidas.
In a statement today, he said: “I joined Under Armour to be part of an iconic brand that demonstrated the power of sport and premium experience, when properly harnessed, is capable of unlimited possibilities. Today, I am even more resolute in this conviction. The opportunity that lies ahead of us is incredible. As our entire global team continues to lean hard into our transformation, I am honoured to lead this great brand toward the realisation of its full potential."
Plank added: “Our multi-year, transition approach has ensured purposeful leadership continuity. Patrik is the right person to serve as Under Armour's next CEO. 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.
“Having earned the trust and respect of our teammates, customers and shareholders, Patrik's proven track record of industry experience, straightforward leadership style and championship of our brand and culture makes him uniquely positioned to smartly capitalize on the opportunities in front of us. As I envision our future – I look forward to further partnering with Patrik to continue our pursuit of becoming the best athletic brand in the world. I am confident that we are just getting started."
Meanwhile, Adidas has announced that long-serving senior executive Eric Liedtke is to leave the company at the end of 2020.
The 53-year-old Liedtke, executive board member, responsible for global brands, joined the German sportswear giant back in 1994.
He has been in his present role since 2014, helping to develop the Adidas’ current strategic plan ‘Creating the New’, which launched in 2016, and collaborations with music stars such as Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Beyonce.
Adidas chief executive Kasper Rorsted said: “Liedtke has done a great job in positioning Adidas as the creator sports brand. I can only praise his marketing expertise, his unrivalled passion for our brands and his commitment to sustainability. Together with all Adidas employees, I would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Liedtke and wish him all the best for his future endeavours.”