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Under Armour hires new head of North American business

Stephanie Pugliese has been appointed president, North America, by Under Armour. She has been president and CEO of Duluth Trading Co., a workwear brand and retailer.
Stephanie Pugliese has been appointed president, North America, by Under Armour. She has been president and CEO of Duluth Trading Co., a workwear brand and retailer. (Under Armour / HANDOUT)

Under Armour has hired the CEO of Duluth Trading Co. to head its North American business, replacing Jason LaRose, who left the Baltimore-based sports apparel maker in April.

Stephanie Pugliese, who has more than 25 years in the branded apparel, retail and merchandising sectors, will start Sept. 16 as president of Under Armour’s biggest market, the company said Thursday. She will report to Patrik Frisk, the brand’s president and COO.

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“Her demonstrated record of leadership and retail expertise significantly strengthens our ability to further amplify Under Armour as the preeminent athletic performance brand in our home market," Frisk said in an announcement.

Pugliese will help guide the company’s strategy for the North American market, Frisk said, including maintaining the integrity of the brand with a focus on full price sales at premium points of distribution, deepening the connection with consumers and improving operations.

Under Armour is in its third year of a restructuring aimed at stabilizing business and reversing a slide in sales, particularly in North America. The company’s stock rose nearly 4.3% Thursday to close at $19.77 a share.

The new Under Armour executive had been president and CEO of Duluth since 2015, when she led the work clothing retailer through its initial public offering. She had worked for Duluth since 2008 in executive roles in product development, merchandising and marketing. She also has executive experience at Lands’ End Inc. and Ann Inc.

LaRose had been president of the Under Armour division since October 2016 and left the company April 30.

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