Dear Mr. Plank,
I was in college when I started running, and it wasn’t long after that first foot hit the pavement that I discovered Under Armour. I was pretty well sold on your gear even before I realized we share an alma mater. More than that, I love how involved the company is locally. You sponsor the Baltimore Marathon, the Terps, and even did the wear testing for your new shoes in town. While I do balk at some of the prices and wish you could find a way to set up the manufacturing locally, I still admire how close you’ve stayed to your roots.
Well, sir, this week I learned about the pay cut you took and love you a little more for it.
It takes a lot of mettle to cut your own salary from $500,000 to $26,000 over a little thing like company performance. That number means I made more than you did last year, and I’m a public school teacher. Considering the economic shit storm we find ourselves in, you, sir, deserve a parade. And a statue. And a national holiday. And, how about a postage stamp?
When I look at the arrogant stupidity of other big company executives — the auto makers flying in private jets, bankers giving themselves taxpayer bonuses — it makes me a little gloomy over the state of our country. It’s nice to know that the front page news is not all the news. A bigger deal ought to be made of this, it really should. In a time when the business world seems to be filled with liars and crooks, you, Mr. Plank, are a stand-up guy. Instead of trying to talk your way out of this, you’re taking it on the chin like the rest of us. There seems to be many a CEO in this world who could learn a thing or two from you about integrity and the common touch.
I’m proud to a have a connection with you, however tenuous, through our state and our school, and I am proud to wear your logo.
Runner and University of Maryland alumni, class of 2002