Under Armour has hired two new executives to lead its global marketing efforts as the company competes with rivals Nike and Adidas.
Alessandro de Pestel joins the Baltimore, Md.-based athletic wear brand as chief marketing officer while Ann Funai will be svp of engineering. The former brings his extensive experience in fashion to the position, having spent more than 11 years in top marketing roles at PVH’s Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein brands.
Prior to joining Under Armour, Funai worked as chief technology officer at SaaS talent management company PeopleAdmin, and prior to that, she held multiple positions across IBM’s firmware, cloud computing and OpenStack divisions.
Moving forward, de Pestel will be based in Baltimore reporting to president and COO Patrik Frisk, while Funai will work under chief digital officer Paul Fipps in Austin, Texas.
“We’re excited to welcome Alessandro and Ann to the Under Armour team, two talented senior executives who will help us connect even more deeply with our consumers through powerful engagements and premium experiences,” said chairman and CEO Kevin Plank in a statement. “The diversity of their global experience and insights will enrich and advance our marketing and digital capabilities to deliver an even more seamless experience to our consumers—whenever and wherever they engage the Under Armour brand.”
De Pestel’s international experience also includes serving as communications director for Christian Dior, vp of global marketing at Omega watches and vp of global advertising and communications at Fila.
Under Armour’s last CMO, Andrew Donkin, departed last December after the company posted disappointing Q3 results, cut its full-year outlook and saw stock prices tumble in turn. The Amazon veteran spent just over a year in the role before returning to Seattle to become head of marketing for Prime video and originals.
The news also follows the July departure of svp, global head of brand Adrienne Lofton, who effectively took over for Donkin. Sources close to the matter said Lofton accepted a top role within Nike’s marketing department due, in part, to a perceived lack of upward mobility within Under Armour. Her hire came after a shakeup at Nike amid reports of widespread “boys club” behavior that led to 25-year veteran and potential chief executive Trevor Edwards being forced out of the company.
Under Armour remains in the midst of a long-term turnaround plan that places significant weight on international sales and an expansion into discount stores. Last week, it announced a restructuring that will include a 3 percent reduction in total staff around the world in order to increase efficiency and improve the company’s bottom line.
Its stock value is currently well under half what it was at its late 2015 peak, despite a recent upturn.