By Chris Korman
4:23 PM EST, January 24, 2013
Under Armour's senior vice president for footwear will leave the company in late February, the company announced Thursday.
Gene McCarthy has overseen the Baltimore-based company's efforts to grow market share in the lucrative shoe sector since 2009. Chief operating officer Kip Fulks will take over management of the division in addition to handling his current duties.
McCarthy, who previously worked as the head of Timberland and also spent 20 years with Nike, joined Under Armour as the company attempted to rejuvenate its shoe sales after its initial forays into the sector did not go as planned. McCarthy oversaw the launch of Under Armour's basketball shoes to mixed results.
Michael Binetti, an analyst for UBS, wrote Thursday that while sales of Under Armour footwear have increased steadily under McCarthy, he did not believe the company's internal goals were being met. He also said the company's footwear sales had significantly underperformed compared with UBS projections made in 2011.
Under Armour stock fell more than 6 percent to $44.65 a share with the news, but then rallied later in the day.
Fulks and McCarthy were not available for comment, an Under Armour spokeswoman Diane Pelkey said. Responding to a question of whether the company was satisfied with the performance of its footwear line, she wrote in an email: "Our earnings call is next week and we are in a quiet period. We have a very strong pipeline of footwear product and innovation coming to market in 2013 and 2014."
McCarthy has not yet decided what he will do next.
"I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge Gene's accomplishments, and I want to thank him for his many contributions to Under Armour," Fulks said in a statement.
"I am proud of what we have accomplished in building a strong foundation and establishing a solid position in the very competitive athletic footwear industry," McCarthy said in the statement.
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