Eric Roza Stepping Down, Moving to Board Chairman of CrossFit
Eric Roza has announced he’s transitioning from CrossFit’s Chief Executive Officer to Board Chairman, a move both Roza and others in CrossFit said was always the plan, but has been accelerated.
“My plan from the beginning was to set an ambitious vision, assemble the right team of executives to achieve it, then step into the Chairman role on the board after three years or so,” Roza wrote in an email to employees. “During my recent time away and in subsequent discussions with the board and our senior team over the past weeks, I’ve decided to accelerate that timetable.”
The big picture: Roza has guided CrossFit through a rocky 18 months, most recently drawing ire from parts of the community when he fired CrossFit’s longtime head of the Games, Dave Castro. CrossFit has begun the search process for a new CEO but didn’t indicate a shortlist of candidates they’re considering. In the meantime, CrossFit will rely on a strong leadership team in place to lead core divisions of the company.
- Roza: “It is a tribute to this team that, in spite of the pandemic, in 2021 we added more than 1,000 affiliates, credentialed over 15,000 new coaches, and welcomed hundreds of thousands of new members, even as COVID continues to impact many of our key markets.”
- There are now roughly 13,000 affiliates worldwide, a net increase of approximately 1500 since Roza took over, according to CrossFit.
- Registrations for training seminars (L1, Online L1, L2, and L3) are up 20% year-over-year according to an email from the executive leadership team circulated to staff.
Some background: Roza bought the company and assumed the role of CEO during one of the most challenging times in CrossFit’s 20-year history. Total affiliation globally was in decline.
- CrossFits’ revenue streams had suffered tremendously as L1 seminars were no longer operating and affiliates were seeking a moratorium on affiliate payments.
- COVID-19 had temporarily closed approximately 89% of affiliates globally and 96% in the United States due to local health mandates.
- The broader CrossFit community was still reeling from the PR disasters in the Summer of 2020, which results in the eventual sale of CrossFit to Roza.
- Hundreds of affiliates had either disaffiliated or were in the process of disaffiliating before the sale went through.
- Hosting the 2020 CrossFit Games was questionable at best due to health restrictions. The Games team was eventually able to orchestrate a two-part Games, one online and one in-person, moving the event from August to October.
A brief history of changes and new products since Roza came on board:
- CrossFit now has a nearly complete board and executive leadership team, including a CFO, President, CMO, CTO, GM of Affiliates, Sport, and Education and Training.
- May 2021: The CrossFit L1 moved online and hosted in seven languages.
- June 2021: CrossFit launched CAP: CrossFit Affiliate Programming, proving affiliates daily programming for members.
- August 2021: CrossFit Affiliate Playbook and resource center launches.
- October 2021: CrossFit Affiliate Partner Network, an affiliate-only portal that gives gyms access to discount pricing on goods and services.
- October 2021: CrossFit Precision Care, a new telehealth primary care service.
- November 2021: CrossFit Nutrition Course launches.