CrossFit founder Greg Glassman is selling the beloved fitness chain after a firestorm for his callous comments about race and allegations of rampant sexual harassment.
Eric Roza, a technology executive and owner of a Colorado CrossFit gym, will buy the company from Glassman and take over as CEO after the sale closes next month, CrossFit officials announced Wednesday. The finanacial terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Glassman said he would cut ties with CrossFit amid outrage over his alleged mistreatment of women and his incendiary comments about the police murder of George Floyd, prompting him to resign as executive director earlier this month.
“The world has changed, but the magnificent human machine, CrossFit’s proven benefits and market opportunity have not changed,” Glassman, the sole owner of CrossFit, said in a statement posted on the corporation’s Twitter account. “It is time for the founder to say goodbye and find other creative means.”
In her own statement, Roza pledged to regain the trust of CrossFit devotees upset by Glassman’s alleged sexism and racism. Reebok ended its corporate partnership with CrossFit, and several affiliated gyms cut ties to the company after Glassman clarified Floyd’s death, even as the tragedy sparked protests across the country against police brutality.
“My opinion is simple: racism and sexism are abominable and will not be tolerated at CrossFit,” said Roza. “We open our arms to everyone, and I will work hard to rebuild bridges with those whose trust we have lost. I come to you with deep humility and I realize that we have a lot of work to do. “
Roza will replace Dave Castro, a long-time honored CrossFit, as the company’s CEO. A CrossFit spokesman said Castro will stay with the company, but did not say in what capacity.
Glassman, who founded CrossFit in 2000 with his ex-wife Lauren Jenai, left the CEO job two weeks ago after he was heard on a Zoom call asking why he should “cry” for Floyd, a black man killed by police in Minneapolis, “Other than that, it’s white.”
Since then, ugly details of the company’s allegedly sexist corporate culture have also emerged. A recent New York Times report documented how Glassman spoke They discussed sexual encounters in detail and attempted to snap photos of women’s breasts, while male employees reportedly rated female CrossFit athletes by how much they would like to sleep with them.
Former CrossFit employee Andy Stumpf recently detailed in a podcast how Glassman aggressively persecuted the workers, who remained silent because they were “ruled for fear of retaliation.” Stumpf recalled that Glassman once told an employee she was chasing that she expected her boyfriend, who was in the military and deployed abroad, to die serving his country.