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Eric Roza, CrossFit’s new Owner and CEO
As many of you know by now CrossFit was recently purchased by Eric Roza. This Morning Chalk Up profile has a pretty clear history of his professional background if you’ve never heard of him before. I was pretty surprised that Greg sold the company, knowing how fervently he’s held onto his role through CrossFit’s history but I think him leaving was the first thing that had to happen in order for fundamental changes to actually happen in the organization. According to the live zoom Eric did with Dave Castro, his ownership begins sometime around the end of July so I wouldn’t expect to see too much really happening until after then. They did recently launch the CrossFit Scholarship Program which is a step in the right direction
I had never heard of Eric Roza before this, but based on what I’ve read and seen so far I’m optimistic about him and the direction he could take CrossFit. Two gym members who worked under Eric (one at Datalogix and the other at Oracle) reached out to me letting me know that he was amazing to work under and he did a great job leading the company and fostering an inclusive and professional environment. Other members familiar with the tech space also mentioned to me how good of a reputation he has, so I’m happy to hear all that. For me, it’s really important that he’s a 10 year affiliate owner who understands CrossFit and has seen the good, the bad and the ugly along the way. I think if an outsider VC came in that would have been disastrous. On top how the company will evolve politically and culturally, I’m interested to see how a someone rooted in the data/analytics world is going to change the interface of CrossFit digitally. Things like social media, the open, an app, media departments, competitive CF etc.
David Woods, who is Eric Roza’s chief of staff, reached out to me to say that Eric wanted to set up call with me about CrossFit and CFSBK. Woods had actually dropped into CFSBK before and said “you (CFSBK) are an integral part of the CrossFit community. Without CFSBK I feel like there is a hole in our heart. Hopefully we can regain the trust of the community.” Eric is traveling now but I’ve been emailing a little with David and they seem to be proactive about reaching out. Woods is also a former member of Noah’s gym Lumos Fitness Collective so they’ve been chatting as well and I know Eric has already spoken to Charmel, Maillard and Chris the owners of Dean CrossFit, one of the few Black owned affiliates.
Regarding rebranding, I’m not really in a rush to do anything right now, we’re still Community Fitness South Brooklyn. Our 2020 affiliate dues were paid last November through the year so I have some time to see what happens and make a decision before I would legally need to do things like clear the name from anything associated with the business, change our liability insurance, etc. We’ll continue to fly that flag until CrossFit has begun to turn the ship around to restore faith in the brand as well as meeting this moment in history. At this point knowing that completely new leadership is coming in and has been talking to a lot of people about how CrossFit can step up gives me patience to wait and see what happens before doing anything else.
As mentioned before, Greg not being the owner or CEO was the first thing that had to happen in order for me to believe the company could change. I couldn’t in good conscience be connected to the brand if Greg was still at the helm. His history of sexual misconduct, the tweet and response to the BLM movement coupled with the complicated history behind him all crossed the point of no return. I think if there had just been a media fallout from it, nothing would have happened, they’d take it on the chin and move on. My opinion is that seeing how many athletes, coaches, brands and affiliates chose to distance themselves from the CrossFit because of all this is why we’re having this conversation about Eric now. The writing was on the wall that it was time for change.
What are you thoughts/predictions on Eric Roza and the future of CrossFit?
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