Under Armour Sacks Executives Over Spending Scandal

By Sam McConnell | 12 Dec 2018

Sports apparel retailer, Under Armour has reportedly fired two of its executives after an internal review revealed questionable spending within the marketing department.

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Under Armour is making good on its promise to transform its workplace culture by firing its Senior Vice President of Global Sports Marketing, Ryan Kuehl and Senior Director of Sports Marketing, Walker Jones.

Citing unnamed sources, the Journal reported that the two execs were let-go after an internal review of the marketing department’s spending revealed the duo in question were forking out a lot of company cash on events, nights out and gifts to athletes.

This news has come after the business was questioned for its corporate workplace culture that reportedly gave executives the ability to charge adult entertainment and gambling to their company credit cards.

Under Armour’s CEO, Kevin Plank said at the time that the business would go through a cultural transformation, despite allegations that Plank himself participates in the criticised activity. In fact, the report in The Wall Street Journal indicates that the fired executives were part of Plank’s “inner circle”, with the CEO allegedly hosting a number of “lavish corporate events” and regularly swaying to the demands of athletes.

So far, there’s no indication of how deeply Plank may or may not have been involved in the spending scandal.

The frowned upon activity at Under Armour comes at a bad time for the business, as the company is already struggling to keep its footing on its home turf, with Q3 revenue dropping by two percent in North America. The sporting apparel retailer is also facing increasing competition from Nike, who has gained market share in recent months with its innovative approach to cross-channel retail. According to Neil Sanders, the retail managing director for GlobalData, Under Armour also needs to wise up to emerging niche brands that have clearer brand propositions and a fresh approach to product development and marketing, like Lululemon’s new footwear and men’s brand.

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