Under Armour on Wednesday named a new chief product officer in Lisa Collier, previously the president and CEO of NYDJ. She starts April 27, according to a company press release, and replaces Kevin Eskridge, who announced he was leaving the company in March. She will report directly to CEO Patrik Frisk.
Eskridge plans to leave the company in August, and will work with Collier in the intervening months "to ensure a smooth transition." Collier also has experience at Levi's, where she served in several roles, including senior vice president of product development and chief transformation officer.
Nike's leadership is also going through changes, with 25-year Nike veteran Ann Hebert, currently vice president of global sales, taking over as vice president and general manager of North America on June 1. She replaces Tom Peddie, who is retiring, the company said in a press release.
Under Armour's new CEO Patrik Frisk moved swiftly to fill out his team after the transition to new leadership in January. He named Under Armour veterans to the roles of chief operating officer and chief experience officer in February. Lisa Collier joins the team in the chief product officer role as a company outsider with transformation experience. As chief product officer, she will oversee several functions, including the brand's category management model, product, merchandising and design.
Under Armour has struggled recently to regain momentum in the athletics space, with a staunch emphasis on performance wear at a time when athleisure reigns supreme. Just this February, the retailer announced it was discussing a restructuring plan, which could include abandoning the company's Fifth Avenue flagship in New York (a move that could cost up to $250 million). And that was before the coronavirus pandemic hit. At the time, the retailer said the full restructuring initiatives could cost $425 million.
Nike came into the crisis from a position of strength. The retailer ended 2019 with its first billion-dollar quarter for the Jordan brand and, despite serious impacts from the coronavirus outbreak in China, executives said at the end of March that some of its stores in the region had already returned to prior-year traffic levels.
Hebert inherits the business at a difficult time, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit U.S. retail hard, and it's unclear how long the impacts will be felt in North America. As head of that region, Hebert will take charge of sales, Nike Direct, marketing, merchandising, categories and territories, among other things.