Stephanie Linnartz is leaving Marriott, but not going far. She is now under center at Under Armour.
The long-time executive and President has announced her decision to leave the company, based in Bethesda, Md., to join sports equipment company Under Armour as its new president and CEO. Under Armour is based in Baltimore, about 45 minutes north of Bethesda.
Her appointment ends Under Armour’s seven-month search for a CEO and relieves Colin Browne of interim CEO duties, a title he held since June after Under Armour’s previous CEO, Patrik Frisk, resigned in May. Browne will resume his position as COO.
Linnartz’s resignation from Marriott will be effective February 24, 2023, the hospitality chain said in a statement. She is expected to start her new role at Under Armour from February 27.
Linnartz, who has been with Marriott since 1997, was among 60 candidates considered for the role at Under Armour. She was reportedly selected for her successful transformation of Marriott’s online presence. The athletic apparel brand is looking to tap into Linnartz’s experience in leading Marriott’s multi-billion-dollar digital transformation to accelerate its online initiatives.
“Responsible for leading Marriott’s multi-billion dollar digital transformation, driving scale through continuous brand innovation across the portfolio, developing premier sports league and team partnerships, while architecting the extraordinary growth of its loyalty program – the board is confident that Stephanie – along with our leadership team and all of our key stakeholders – will accelerate our ability to realize the substantial opportunities for Under Armour as both an operating company and aspirational brand,” said Kevin Plank, Under Armour executive chair and brand chief in a release.
Plank also has tentacles into hospitality. He is an investor in the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore. Pendry is a sub brand of Montage International.
Under Armour has been planning to boost its e-commerce operations, maximize profits and compete with rival brands as it grapples with low margins, costly litigations and a reduced fiscal year outlook.
“On the one hand, I am excited for this next chapter in Stephanie’s career. On the other, I am saddened by the departure of such an incredible executive. Beyond the collaborative relationship that Stephanie and I enjoy in our roles, we are good friends, having rooted for each other for more than two decades as we grew in our careers at Marriott and in our lives outside the company,” Anthony Capuano, CEO of Marriott International said in the statement.
Both Capuano and Linnartz were in the running to become CEO of Marriott in the wake of the passing of Arne Sorenson, who died from cancer in 2021. Capuano ultimately got the nod.
Linnartz joined Marriott as a financial analyst and has worked in several capacities in the past 25 years. She played a pivotal role during Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, including overseeing the integration of various corporate functions and business-critical systems. In 2019, under her leadership, the company combined the Marriott and Starwood loyalty programs to create the world’s Marriott Bonvoy, the loyalty program which has more than 173 million members worldwide.
“It has been one of the most significant and best experiences of my life to build a career at Marriott. I also want to thank Under Armour Executive Chair and Brand Chief, Kevin Plank, for this dream opportunity,” Linnartz said in the statement.
As Marriott’s president since 2021, she led all aspects of the company’s global consumer strategy and also oversees Marriott’s global development organization. She forayed into the sports world with partnerships with the NFL, NCAA and the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team.
Linnartz also serves on the board of directors of The Home Depot’s board of directors.