The innovate athletic wear makers of Locust Point have brought in some outside help from the auto manufacturing industry to lead their product development team.
Under Armour today announced Clay Dean as its new chief innovation officer. Dean spent the last 20 years with General Motors. During that time, he led development of GM’s concept cars and the was lead designer on the Hummer H2 and H3 lines.
More relevantly, Dean also worked on an athletic footwear collaboration with Nike. One of those projects involved incorporating the rubber treading from Nike’s ACG shoe series into the tires used on a smaller concept pickup Hummer, as well as breathable Nike material into the interior of the car.
“Clay brings a unique perspective to Under Armour and deep roots in design, manufacturing and innovation that will be critical in guiding how we make and deliver products now and in the future,” said Kevin Haley, Under Armour’s president of category management and innovation, in a statement. “At Under Armour, a relentless pursuit of innovation is at the core of everything we do. Adding Clay’s proven expertise further validates our commitment to meaningfully advance our ability to bring category-defining products and technology to our consumers.”
Prior to the announcement of Dean’s arrival, Paul Fipps was Under Armour’s CIO for the last two years. Fipps has also served as the firm’s executive vice president of global operations since September 2016, per Under Armour’s website.
During an eventful start to the year for Under Armour in which the company’s share price plummeted and its chief financial officer left after a four-quarter earnings miss, CEO and founder Kevin Plank promised investors that Under Armour would be investing more in its products this year. Dean appears to be the man Plank picked to fulfill that pledge.
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