Under Armor picks new CEO: Marriott executive Stephanie Linnards

Under Armor’s new CEO, Stephanie Linnards

Courtesy: Under Armour

Under the hood He said on Wednesday that he has been hired Marriott International President Stephanie Linnards will be its next CEO, ending a seven-month hunt for a new boss the company hopes will grow its digital business.

Linnards, who has been with Marriott since 1997, was among 60 candidates considered for the role. Although athletic apparel is a big leap from the hospitality business, he was chosen for his digital skills and success transforming the hotel chain’s online presence, Under Armor founder and executive chairman Kevin Plank told CNBC.

“She’s really a learner,” Blank said. “She’s got that intellectual curiosity, and she comes with a biased perspective.” After five or six years, he said the company is leaning on its priorities of “digitalisation, product and brand”.

Linnards, who started as a financial analyst at Marriott in 1997, starts his new job on February 27.

Colin Brown has been serving as interim CEO since June, succeeding Under Armour’s previous top executive, Patrick Frisk. Unexpectedly resigned In May. Brown will resume his role as chief operating officer, the company said in a news release.

Blank said the company isn’t looking for a big change in direction and that it “really” likes the strategy it has in place now, but he admitted the brand “hasn’t grown as much as we’d like.”

Under Armor is trying Build its e-commerce operationsIncrease profitability and compete with rival brands Nike And Lululemon Struggling with low margins, An expensive case and A Lowered fiscal outlook.

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Linnards’ experience led the company in Marriott’s multibillion-dollar digital transformation to accelerate Under Armour’s online efforts.

During his tenure at Marriott, Linnards delved into the world of sports as he grew its Bonvoy loyalty program to 173 million members and developed multi-year partnerships with the NFL, NCAA and the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team.

in a release on Wednesday, Marriott CEO Anthony Capuano praised Linnards as an “incredible executive.” He will leave the company on February 24, three days before he starts at Under Armour.

“Building a career at Marriott has been one of the most important and rewarding experiences of my life,” Linnards said in the release.

He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Home Depot. She can bring that retail background and insight to the position, Blank said.

He will be brand leadership and executive chairman and will be “involved in the business in a significant way,” Plank said.

“It’s going to be a partnership. She and I are going to be partners. We’re not hiding from that,” Blank said.

Under Armor began in 1996 with humble roots. A former football player, Plank created the prototype for the brand’s signature moisture-wicking shirt while a student at the University of Maryland, then perfected his designs in his grandmother’s basement in Georgetown.

By 2005, he took the Baltimore company public, and on its first day of trading, its value doubled.

Five years later, Under Armor had quadrupled its revenue to surpass $1 billion.

Most recently, the company reported sales of $1.57 billion in their fiscal second quarter, up 2% year-over-year, with net income of $87 million.

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