Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank Says Donald Trump Is a ‘Real Asset’ to Business

Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank
Kevin Plank, shot exclusively for Footwear News.
Axel Dupeux

Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank believes that President Donald Trump is good for business.

In an interview with CNBC today, Plank described Trump as “highly passionate” and a pro-business man who is a “real asset” for U.S. companies.

To have such a pro-business President is something that is a real asset for the country,” Plank said. “People can really grab that opportunity. He loves to build I don’t think there’s any surprises here. When you look at the president he wants to build things. He wants to build things he wants to make bold decisions and be really decisive. I’m a big fan of people that operate in the world of publish and iterate versus think, think, think, think, think. So there’s a lot that I respect there.”

Plank’s upbeat commentary about the commander in chief comes just weeks after he was one of 12 corporate CEOs to score a seat at the White House with Trump as he discussed several strategies aimed at bringing jobs to the U.S.

The athletic brand’s founder and CEO sat with Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Inc.; Mark Fields, president and CEO of Ford Motor Co.; Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson; and other corporate leaders last month as Trump promised a “very major” border tax and said he would cut corporate regulations by 75 percent.

When Plank spoke exclusively to Footwear News after Trump’s election win in November, he also voiced optimism about the incoming president. “This is going to be our president, and we all have to embrace it,” Plank told FN. “I hope it becomes a unifying moment for America. I know it feels like this has been a divisive campaign, and that’s really unfortunate and that’s the saddest thing about it. But I hope it proves to be unifying.”

Nevertheless, in today’s CNBC interview, Plank acknowledged that he sees some challenges for U.S. firms stemming from the president’s proposed border adjustment tax.

The border tax would have an absolutely very, very difficult effect on all companies in the consumer space, particularly retailers,” Plank said. “It’s the No. 1 issue when you ask me about the new administration.”

After enjoying a robust growth spree for the better part of two years, Under Armour’s latest earnings report as well as its slumping share price has signaled that the firm’s rise is tapering.

In Q4, Under Armour’s earnings as well as its guidance for the year ahead fell short of expectations sending its shared tumbling. Plank blamed “numerous challenges and disruptions” — including sporting goods bankruptcies — in the North American region for creating an “imbalance” in the firm’s product assortment and hurting its overall performance during the quarter.

Meanwhile, several analysts downgraded the stock, noting that they did not see the firm returning to double-digit growth in the near future.