It’s been a tumultuous few weeks in the world of CrossFit. In the aftermath of an inflammatory tweet and a series of statements to CrossFit affiliate owners, Greg Glassman — founder, sole proprietor, and CEO of CrossFit Inc. — ceded his title to now acting CEO Dave Castro.
Yesterday, via a twitter post, Dave Castro welcomed Eric Roza as future owner and CEO of CrossFit.
— Dave Castro (@thedavecastro) June 24, 2020
There are still many unknowns surrounding the future of CrossFit, and the changes we will see with Roza at the helm, but for now, let’s look at what we know about him, beyond Castro’s introduction and his live interview.
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Dear CrossFit community, Since I discovered CrossFit 10 years ago, it has changed my life, and I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to lead CrossFit through its next chapter as CEO and owner, following the closing next month. As a box owner and athlete, I’ve experienced CrossFit’s transformative power and the shared bond it creates between people of different races, genders, ages, ethnicities, incomes, educations and physical abilities. That magic, created by our affiliate owners, coaches, and athletes in 158 countries around the world, is real. And I believe it makes the world a better place. 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. I come to you with deep humility and the realization that we have hard work to do. I am committed to listening, I am committed to learning, and I am committed to leading positive change. Most of all, I am committed to CrossFit and to you, as a member of our community. If you are committed to the future of CrossFit and have ideas, I want to hear from you. And if you loved CrossFit, and we lost you along the way, I want to regain your trust and partnership. Please reach out to me at [email protected] Eric Roza #committedtocrossfit
Roza’s Relationship with CrossFit
By his own account, Roza discovered CrossFit “10 years ago, and it changed (his) life.”
In 2010, he started to offer CrossFit classes to his employees at Datalogix. In 2013, he Co-founded CrossFit Sanitas and is currently a CrossFit Level 2 Trainer.
The 52-year-old’s benchmarks are listed on his CrossFit Games athlete profile and include a 2:40 Fran.
During yesterday’s interview, Roza discussed his intention to realign the CrossFit brand with the culture it sought to create in the first place.
“I think that essence of CrossFit culture…we need to bring that spirit to everything we do, including CrossFit as a business.”
Roza has extensive experience in business and entrepreneurship. He teaches a class in Entrepreneurial Leadership at University of Colorado Boulder, and is best known for leading the team that built and sold Datalogix to Oracle for a reported ~$1.2 billion.
According to Roza’s LinkedIn profile, he is currently an Executive-in-Residence with Venture Capital Firm General Catalyst, former Chairman of TrueCoach — a SaaS platform for personal trainer — Member of the Boards for Spark Grills, SonderMind, Crestone Capital, Teach United, and Endeavor Global Colorado. He is also an advisor to investment firms and startup CEOs.
He earned a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Stanford University.
In his message to affiliate owners, Castro introduced Roza “one of us” and someone who “also knows how to build great, inclusive workplaces.”
Roza’s actions in the last 24 hours, from his statement addressing racism and sexism as abhorrent and intolerable in CrossFit to his commitment to listening to the community by sharing his email address, may serve as validation to Castro’s introduction.