The only constant in Corporate America is change. Companies large and small are constantly undertaking shakeups in their business strategies and management teams as they seek a competitive edge in the marketplace. Long tenured CEO positions are becoming increasingly rare in the business world, particularly among publicly traded companies where shareholders demand results. To be sure, running a competitive and profitable company hasn’t gotten any easier in the last few years with a global pandemic, the highest rates of inflation in 40 years, interest rate hikes and the longest bear market in stocks since after World War II. With so much change underway, now may be the time to jump on these stocks to buy during corporate shakeups.
News arrived very recently of a major executive shakeup at Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE:BABA). Markets were shocked when it was announced that Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang would step down to focus on the company’s cloud intelligence business and be replaced by Eddie Wu, a co-founder of the company who has long been involved in technology development. News of the executive change comes as Alibaba restructures into six separate business groups, representing the biggest reorganization in the company’s history.
Alibaba is trying to aggressively boost its business amid an economic slowdown in China, and after the government in Beijing spent two years cracking down on the e-commerce concern, slapping it with a record $2.8 billion antitrust fine. While the restructuring and executive shakeup create some near-term uncertainty at Alibaba, it is still one of the top stocks to buy during corporate shakeups. Now especially looks to be an opportune time to buy BABA stock with it down 17% over the past year. Michael Burry, has been buying the stock in recent months, betting on a China rebound.
Bjorn Gulden, who previously ran rival sneaker company Puma (OTCMKTS:PUMSY) for nearly a decade, assumed the CEO role at German footwear giant Adidas (OTCMKTS:ADDYY) at the start of this year. He replaced Kasper Rorsted, who had served as CEO of Adidas since 2016 and steered the global brand through the Covid-19 pandemic when its stores were closed and its supply chains thrown into disarray. In announcing the management shakeup, the board at Adidas said it is trying to “pave the way for a restart” at the 74-year-old company.
In addition to the ravages of the pandemic, Adidas has also struggled due to its messy divorce from rapper Kanye West, whose Yeezy brand of sneakers had been a global bestseller for the company. But after severing ties with the controversial artist, Adidas found itself with millions of pairs of unsold Yeezy shoes sitting in warehouses around the world. Adidas has estimated that it is sitting on $1.3 billion of unsold Yeezy-branded sneakers. CEO Gulden decided to sell the Kanye West sneakers again and give a portion of the sales to charity.
ADDYY stock is trending in the right direction, having gained 39% in 2023. However, the share price remains 44% lower than where it was trading at before the pandemic struck in March 2020.
Under Armour (UAA)
Another global sports apparel brand that has a new CEO is Under Armour (NYSE:UAA). Stephanie Linnartz joined the company that specializes in sneakers and workout clothing as its new president and CEO on February 27. Linnartz previously served as president of hotel chain Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR) and is a brand specialist. At Under Armor she has been tasked with helping to boost the company’s profile and better compete against rival brands such as Adidas.
Indeed, Linnartz has called 2023 “a year of building for the brand.” How long it takes for Linnartz to execute a turnaround strategy at the company remains to be seen. She recently completed her first earnings print at Under Armour. Although the company’s financial results beat Wall Street expectations, the stock slid lower on disappointing forward guidance. Shareholders are screaming for a turnaround sooner rather than later with UAA stock down 67% over the last five years.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.