Breaking: CrossFit Names Jay DeCoons As New VP of Global Affiliate and Operations

October 26, 2023 by and
Photo Credit: Jay DeCoons
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In an email to affiliate owners yesterday, CrossFit announced Jay DeCoons as their new VP of Global Affiliate and Operations. DeCoon earned an MBA at Harvard University and has experience in finance at Highland Capital. He also comes with over ten years of experience in the fitness industry, where he served in leadership roles at YogaWorks and later The Bar Method.

One big thing: This announcement comes after a long search for a new head of affiliates after the General Manager of Affiliates Gary Gaines was removed in December of 2022.

  • Since then, Austin Malleolo, an eight-time Games athlete, co-founder of the HAM Plan (which became CrossFit Affiliate Programming), long-time seminar staff member and former affiliate owner served in an interim capacity in the role. He previously also served under Gaines as the Director of North American Gym Operations.
  • Malleolo will now be moving into the role of Senior Director of Affiliate Strategy and Operations.

Remind me: This move is the next step in a long line of leadership shifts at CrossFit HQ over the past several years.

  • Just before the 2022 CrossFit Games, Current CEO Don Faul took over leadership of the company after Roza stepped down earlier that year and Alison Andreozzi was named as the “interim head of CrossFit”
  • In a July interview with the Morning Chalk Up, he revealed that one of his key focus points was affiliate success.
  • Since then, he has spent much of his tenure in the position working towards growing current affiliates and expanding to new gyms.
  • In December of 2022, General Manager of Affiliates Gary Gaines was removed from the company as the sixth C-suite or director-level executive to exit that year. 
  • Prior to his departure, he headed the campaign to create an “Affiliate First” model, including a content toolkit that gyms could use to improve their branding and marketing. 

Prior to his new role at CrossFit, DeCoons spent over ten years in the Barre and Yoga space.

  • From 2009 to 2014, he served as the President and COO of YogaWorks where he oversaw the operations of 30 locations in New York and California.
  • He then went on to become the CEO of The Bar Method, a fitness franchise with over 115 locations in the United States and Canada.
  • After being acquired by Self Esteem Brands (the parent company of Anytime Fitness), he became the Brand President until 2020, when he moved to work for New Dawn Ventures, an investment platform.

According to CrossFit, DeCoons is a “CrossFit enthusiast” who began CrossFit in 2017 in Northern California.

  • “He is pursuing his L1 next month in Tacoma, Washington, and is excited to get on the road and meet as many of you as possible to get your insights and feedback.” CrossFit HQ wrote in an email to affiliate owners this morning.

The big picture: While DeCoons comes from outside the CrossFit industry, his leadership in the fitness industry, as well as his impressive resume, including a bachelor’s in finance from Notre Dame and an MBA from Harvard, coupled with his background in finance will hopefully provide a fresh perspective for CrossFit leadership and affiliates. 

As CrossFit continues to rebuild its leadership team after several years of executive shifts and turnover, DeCoon’s entrance will hopefully facilitate continued growth for CrossFit and a renewed focus on putting affiliates first.

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