Greg Glassman, who founded CrossFit in 2000, is selling the business to Eric Roza, according to a June 24 announcement on Twitter by Dave Castro with CrossFit.
The sale is expected to be completed in July. The purchase price was not revealed.
Roza, who previously tech company Datalogix, is a CrossFit affiliate in Boulder, Colorado.
Castro, who called Roza “one of us,” said in the announcement tweet: “Eric knows what it’s like to run a box through tough times. He has faced the same issues with payroll and rent during COVID-19, and he knows what it’s like to deal with difficult issues in the press. He also knows how to build great, inclusive workplaces, with Datalogix making Outside Magazine’s list of best places to work.”
CrossFit and Glassman have faced scrutiny on multiple fronts during the past few months. Glassman made comments on Twitter and in a company Zoom call related to the death of George Floyd, the unarmed black man who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer on May 31. Glassman also was the subject of several stories, including this one by the New York Times, that alleged he sexually harassed women on the staff. Glassman has denied those allegations.
Glassman founded CrossFit along with his wife at the time, Lauren Jenai.
The two have since divorced, and as part of the divorce settlement, Glassman paid Jenai $20 million for her part of the company, becoming sole owner.
Glassman served as CEO until June 9 when he retired, with CrossFit having 15,000 locations in 158 countries.
On Twitter, Glassman said of the sale announcement: “The world has changed, but the magnificent human machine, the proven benefits of CrossFit, and its market opportunity remain unchanged. It is time for the founder to bid adieu and find other creative outlets. I have complete faith that Eric Roza can shepherd CrossFit Inc. effectively into this new world.”
Roza posted a statement to Instagram that said, in part: “In the past weeks, divisive statements and allegations have left many members of our community struggling to reconcile our transformative experiences in the local box with what we’ve been reading online.
“My view is simple: Racism and sexism are abhorrent and will not be tolerated in CrossFit. We open our arms to everyone, and I will be working hard to rebuild bridges with those whose trust we have lost.”
In a YouTube Live event held by Roza on June 24, Castro fielded a series of questions. The pair never directly spoke to the charges of racism and sexism that have dogged Glassman and CrossFit. Several people on the call posted in the comment section that they wanted these issues to be addressed on the call.
At one point in the call Roza did address inclusivity, saying: “We are committed to being a really broadly inclusive community that thinks about fitness inclusively, that thinks about athletes inclusively, that thinks about team members inclusively, that thinks about affiliate owners inclusively.
And really the end goal—and I big on kind of what is your North Star—the end goal here is to be the most important force in the world in spreading health and fitness and happiness frankly too. I think we don’t talk about that a lot in the CrossFit vernacular right now, but I can tell you in my life, CrossFit has consistently been one of the things that has made me the happiest.”
He never directly mentioned Glassman’s comments or actions, but he noted that the company had gone through tough times, including the effects of COVID-19.
“I’ve been CrossFitting for 10 years so I have a reasonable amount of grit to get through tough situations,” he said. “I try to do it with both a spirit of optimism and realism and a lot of humility. I see myself as a highly fallible person who makes a lot of mistakes. I tend to own up to them and work to course correct.”
Roza is committed to the current CrossFit model, but he indicated it might be time to expand model options.
“This model is working really well, right?” he said. “But we also know it is a time for change. And I’m a huge believer in don’t let a crisis go to waste. There’s been a lot of challenges for us between COVID and the press and so on, and the realities, not just the press. And we need to dive in and say that we need to be inspired by this and examine ourselves and see what we can all do. And we certainly are going to be doing that with the CrossFit HQ team. And we’re going to be sharing those learnings with the community.”
Content courtesy of Club Industry.