Clare Duffy of the PDX reports that Peter Ruppe has left Under Armour which makes three high level execs who have exited the company since the last conference call and quarterly report.
Ruppe follows a string of other high-profile exits from the company — including its co-founder Kip Fulks, its chief marketing officer and the heads of its women’s, youth and sport fashion divisions — since the start of October.
Ruppe had been with UA for two years and was the lead in opening the new Portland Office. The company’s move to Portland is an attempt to mine the talent in the area for footwear design. Ruppe’s replacement is Global Basketball lead Ryan Drew. Drew was one of the primary reasons And1 came into prominence in the 90s. He worked with UA during the development of the footwear division from 2007 to 2012 and returned to the company in 2016.
Under Armour’s stock slid a bit on the announcement of Ruppe’s departure and rightfully so. When a company is going through VPs and Department Execs it shows instability and that is never a good thing for a brand as it relates to the market. I remain certain that UA can make a return to form as I discussed here:
Unfortunately that return to form won’t happen if the brand continues to make similar marketing decisions to the last two years and remains bogged down in quicksand as it relates to footwear. With only 285 Million in revenue from footwear if UA can make the adjustments, that is where they can see the most growth. It won’t happen however with poorly planned roll outs of Footwear like the recent drop of the Project Rock release. In a larger delivery to the public of the Rock’s Signature Delta shoe the company did absolutely nothing to build up anticipation. The result has been a slow sell through of the shoes and footwear hasn’t been made any better by the horrible release schedule for the Curry 4. Let’s hope Mr. Drew digs in and delivers a new sense of urgency to the footwear division.