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Under Armour founder Kevin Plank to step down as CEO

Baltimore — Under Armour founder Kevin Plank will step down as CEO next year, handing over the reins of the sporting goods company he founded in 1996.

Under Armour announced Tuesday that Patrik Frisk, the company's president and chief operating officer, will become CEO. He will be only the second CEO at Under Armour.

Plank, 47, will remain as executive chairman and brand chief. The 56-year-old Frisk will report to Plank and will take a seat on the board.

"Having earned the trust and respect of our teammates, customers and shareholders, Patrik's proven track record of industry experience, straightforward leadership style and championship of our brand and culture makes him uniquely positioned to smartly capitalize on the opportunities in front of us," Plank said in a statement. 

Under Armour has threatened Nike, landing major deals with Major League Baseball and star athletes like the NBA's Stephen Curry. But it also faces threats of its own, like the growing popularity of athleisure wear, clothing that can be worn at work and the yoga studio.

"While a positive transitional step, the pathway toward successfully executing the next chapter will take time and deft management," Wedbush analysts said in a research note, adding that Under Armour needs to re-energize its brand amid mounting competition.

Shares of the Baltimore company are down 23% since its last earnings report in July, although they are up 13% on the year. Shares rose about 2.5% on the CEO succession news Tuesday to around $20.50.

Plank made news earlier this year when he defended Baltimore after President Donald Trump called the city "a rodent infested mess."

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