Under Armour (UAA - Get Report) just hired Clay Dean as chief innovation officer, a telling sign that the company is struggling to compete with Nike (NKE - Get Report) , Adidas and Puma.

Dean joins Under Armour after spending more than 20 years at General Motors (GM - Get Report) , where he most recently led the automobile company's Global Advanced Design organization. At Under Armour, he will be responsible for driving the company's global vision and strategy for innovation, according to the company.

"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, president of category management and innovation.

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It doesn't exactly take a rocket scientist to figure out why Under Armour felt the need to hire a chief innovation officer.

 

Dean's appointment comes at a time when the company's apparel sales - especially in the shoe department - are dwindling. And also as the company's stock price has plunged 58% mostly after a disappointing holiday season. 

Last year, after Under Armour released its Curry 3 shoe following the widespread success of its NBA Golden State Warriors All-Star Stephen Curry jerseys, Foot Locker (FL - Get Report) called out the sneaker on a earnings call for its under-performance. This year, Foot Locker didn't even mention Under Armour on its fourth quarter earnings call.

After a strong fourth quarter, Foot Locker CEO Dick Johnson said its business was boosted primarily from Nike, Adidas, Puma. Not once did he say anything about Under Armour.

Under Armour's performance has been so weak recently that the company was even a made a mockery of by Lululemon (LULU - Get Report) founder and former chairman Chip Wilson.

Wilson purchased a bus station ad in Vancouver about two weeks ago advising Lululemon to buy Under Armour, which he described as having "junk bond debt, too much inventory and technology purchases they cannot monetize." When asked if he really thinks Lululemon should acquire Under Armour, he told TheStreet "No, it was a joke."

Wilson was even more brutal in an interview with CNBC, saying that Under Armour is "super weak right now," and that he "wouldn't want to be working at Under Armour right now."

An Under Armour executive told TheStreet's Brian Sozzi that it has definitely not reached peak innovation yet

Updated from Mar. 13 with new details.