The Armoury What's new with Baltimore sports apparel maker Under Armour

Under Armour founder Kevin Plank lands on a 'Worst CEOs' list

A rough year has landed Under Armour’s Kevin Plank on a “Worst CEOs in America” list.

Plank joins the heads of IBM, Macy’s, Sears, Twitter, Ford Motor Co. and others on a 20-worst list compiled by financial news website 24/7 Wall St. The online publisher looked at stock price changes, earnings, revenue and tenure at the company to come up with executives it said have done “serious damage” to their companies.

Shares of the once high-flying Under Armour have plunged 45 percent this year as sales faltered and the company reported losses for two straight quarters. The Baltimore brand struggled with intense competition, the loss of key wholesale customers, slumping demand and changing consumer tastes.

24/7 credited Plank with taking the brand from a basement startup to a “powerhouse” in just two decades, calling it a “great story.”

“Yet sometimes the founder of a company is not the best captain of the ship when navigating choppy waters,” the 24/7 article said.

The top-20 list included current CEOs and others who left earlier this year.

It criticized IBM CEO Ginny Rometty’s turnaround plan and said Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren “presided over one of the worst retail disasters of the modern era.”

It questioned the effectiveness of Jack Dorsey, the Twitter co-founder who returned to the company when “it became clear that management could not figure out how to make money from one of the world’s most visible brands.” It called the short tenure of Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan amid a series of scandals “horrible for customers.”

In some cases, 24/7 said, “it will take years for the businesses to recover, if they ever can.”

Under Armour has grown enough that it is fighting for market share with dominant brands Nike and Adidas, facing constant pressure on profit margins, the article said. And the website questioned whether new president and COO Patrik Frisk, a retail veteran, can bring about change with Plank at the helm.

“The company’s April 2016 stock split effectively gave Plank a super-vote and control of the company, and the stock has fallen even more since the split,” 24/7 said.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

twitter.com/lmirabella

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