CrossFit is moving forward with new leadership following CEO Greg Glassman's controversial comments over the weekend. He announced his retirement on Tuesday and apologized for creating a rift in the community. Although Glassman still owns the company due to founding it and purchasing the remaining shares from his ex-wife and co-founder Lauren Jenai during their divorce in 2012.
Glassman drew attention on Saturday when he responded to a statement by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, in which the institution called racism and discrimination critical public health issues. Glassman tweeted, "Floyd-19" in response before criticizing the quarantine lockdown and the IHME "modeling" a solution to racism. His tweets sparked criticism and resulted in 1,250 gyms around the world removing their affiliation with CrossFit HQ.
"I'm stepping down as CEO of CrossFit, Inc., and I have decided to retire. On Saturday I created a rift in the CrossFit community and unintentionally hurt many of its members," Castro said in a press release. "Since I founded CrossFit 20 years ago, it has become the world's largest network of gyms. All are aligned in offering an elegant solution to the vexing problem of chronic disease. Creating CrossFit and supporting its affiliates and legions of professional trainers has been a labor of love.
"Those who know me know that my sole issue is the chronic disease epidemic. I know that CrossFit is the solution to this epidemic and that CrossFit HQ and its staff serve as the stewards of CrossFit affiliates worldwide. I cannot let my behavior stand in the way of HQ's or affiliates' missions. They are too important to jeopardize."
Now that Glassman is retiring, Castro will become the head of HQ. A former Navy SEAL, he joined CrossFit as an intern before working his way up to co-director of training and the Games director. Castro is the man that designs all of the workouts for the CrossFit Open, as well as the Games. He has built a reputation for throwing wild drills at top-level athletes while debuting unique hairstyles. Now he will run a company worth an estimated $4 billion annually.
"CrossFit is a community — one that is global, diverse, and tough. Every person in our community shares a common bond. We are all dedicated to a visionary, transformative approach to health and fitness. Our individual passions for that approach have forged an enduring community," Castro said in a statement.
"Our community is hurt, though. Our shared bond brings together millions of people with differing opinions, viewpoints, and experiences," he continued. "Friction is inevitable. Common ground, mutual respect, and fellowship must also be inevitable. I'm honored to take on the role of CEO of CrossFit, Inc. I hope to do right by affiliates, trainers, athletes, and other members of the CrossFit community around the world and never lose sight of the mission Greg established for us all."