Under Armour Boss Quits After Strip Club Claims
Their headphones are hot sellers in now Under Armour chief executive Kevin Plank whose Company recently signed two major sporting sponsorship deals in Australia has stepped down due to scandal claims and his relationship with women.
For months claims have circled that he presided over a frat-house culture at the athletic sporting wear Company and he has been accused of having a “hostility” towards women. In Australia Harman market Under Armour branded headphones.
Plank, who has been chief executive since he founded the company in 1996, will relinquish the helm at the beginning of next year. He will be succeeded by chief operating officer Patrik Frisk, who joined Under Armour in July 2017 from his position as CEO of footwear and accessories company Aldo Group.
Shares of the company jumped 2.6 percent on the news. Recently Under Armour signed sponsorship deals with Sydney FC and the AFL club Essendon.
In Australia Harman is selling Under Armour headphones which according to executives are “incredibly popular”. At JB Hi Fi the brands product sell out within days.
Late last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that Plank and other execs for years had taken athletes and co-workers to the Scores strip club that’s down the street from Under Armour’s Baltimore headquarters — with some billing the company for the raunchy evenings.
“On some visits, employees charged hundreds of dollars there to the company,” the paper reported, citing unnamed sources.
The WSJ cited allegations of sexual misconduct by male executives — including by Plank’s brother, Scott, who resigned in 2012, according to the Journal — and concerns about women’s pay and promotions.
At the time, Under Armour told The New York Post that “it’s false to report that Kevin Plank used corporate dollars” at strip clubs and added that Plank “didn’t conduct business at strip clubs or use company funds at such venues.”
Plank who is married was also accused of having a relationship with MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle who was also married — and solicited her business advice over that of his own management team.
Employees at the athletic apparel giant were uncomfortable with their relationship, according to the report, and were unsure how to handle her feedback because many believed she had romantic ties with Plank. Both are married.
Also, in February, The Post reported that Plank was also close to former MSNBC political analyst Steve Schmidt — who worked for Plank as a consultant until last year.
Sources said Schmidt was instrumental in recommending Plank join one of President Trump’s economic councils in 2017, which turned out to be a public-relations fiasco for Under Armour.