5 Things to Know About Under Armour’s New COO

Under Armour has made some key changes to its C-suite.

The sportswear firm yesterday announced two new appointments: Paul Fipps as chief experience officer and Colin Browne as chief operating officer, effective Feb. 17.

“As we continue work to instill greater efficiency and discipline across the brand to enable deeper connections with consumers, these leadership appointments further advance our ability to successfully execute against our long-term strategies,” president and CEO Patrik Frisk said in a statement.

As COO, Brown is tasked with the company’s supply chain and sourcing operations as well as distribution, information technology, asset protection, sustainability and more. Here, five things to know about the new chief.

He takes on Frisk’s former role.

Browne steps into the role of COO at Under Armour following Patrik Frisk’s promotion to president and CEO. Frisk, who took the helm from now-executive chairman and brand chief Kevin Plank in January, joined the company in July 2017.

“As a seasoned expert and trusted leader who consistently delivers results, Colin is uniquely qualified to drive even greater strategic prioritization, productivity and accountability within Under Armour,” Frisk said. “With his laser-focus on operational excellence, I have tremendous confidence in his ability to execute against a state of continuous improvement with a keen eye on applying industry-leading best practices across our business.”

He’s been with Under Armour for four years.

Browne previously served as the company’s chief supply chain officer from 2017 to 2020, tasked with all global operations related to product sourcing and logistics. He joined Under Armour in 2016 as its president of global sourcing.

Frisk and Browne previously worked at the same firm.

Frisk spent 10-plus years at VF Corp. — parent to Vans, Timberland and The North Face — in a variety of leadership roles. Browne — prior to Under Armour — was VP and managing director of supply chain at VF, where he led all aspects of the firm’s sourcing and product supply organization in Asia and Africa.

He’s a shoe industry veteran.

Browne’s previous roles also include EVP of footwear and accessories at Li & Fung and CEO of Pentland Brands in Asia as well as other senior leadership positions at Reebok and Bally.

He takes over at a turbulent time for Under Armour.

The Baltimore-based company has suffered a period of deceleration in its home turf, where revenues slowed 4% to $1 billion in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, while international sales climbed 5% to $368 million. That same month, the athletic firm tapped Stephanie Pugliese to helm the region’s business following a number of high-profile exits, including former North America president Jason LaRose, who departed at the end of April.

Under Armour is still in the midst of executing the five-year turnaround plan introduced at its investor day in December 2018, where it doubled down on its performance-first approach — a strategy that has put much of Wall Street on the fence. It is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 13.

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