Former CrossFit employee Andy Stumpf spoke in broad terms about former CEO Greg Glassman and how he treated female employees during an episode of his podcast, Cleared Hot. Days later, other former employees provided further details. They alleged that Glassman created a sexist workplace and used an obscene WiFi password, "wetp—y."
The New York Times spoke to a dozen former employees about Glassman and the culture at CrossFit HQ. According to these interviews, the unnamed people expressed surprise that Glassman's downfall was "tied to accusations of racism" instead of "routine and rampant sexual harassment." These former employees also said that reporting the alleged harassment was not an option due to Glassman being the sole owner of the company. There was no HR manager until 2013, and the position has remained empty since January.
8 days ago I dedicated a podcast episode to this topic. 3 days later I started to receive character assassination threats from Greg Glassman. Dave Castro is now the CEO, these denials fall under his watch. https://t.co/rpIj5O6kNn— Andy Stumpf (@AndyStumpf77) June 20, 2020
"According to the dozen interviewed [eight former employees and four athletes with strong ties to HQ], Mr. Glassman, 63, has verbally demeaned women, pulled at their clothes to try to peek at their cleavage and aimed his phone’s camera to snap photos of their breasts while they traveled with him for work (sometimes pressuring them to consider sharing hotel rooms or borrowed houses with him)," the Times reported. The former employees also alleged that male employees would rank female CrossFit athletes based on how much the men "wanted to have sex with them."
The Times also spoke to Stumpf following his podcast. He provided details about an alleged conversation between himself and Glassman en route to the airport. Glassman had reportedly agreed to a financial settlement in 2012 to Julie Kelly, a former employee whose lawyers threatened to file a sexual harassment lawsuit. The following day, Glassman reportedly made comments about the former employee and the legal situation.
"We were in the car and he was chuckling," Stumpf told the Times. "I asked why he was in such a good mood and he said, 'I finally finished up with the bulls— with Julie; I had to pay that whore.'" Stumpf previously worked as CrossFit's pilot and oversaw the company's partnership with Reebok.
Glassman denied these allegations laid out in the times through a spokesman and spokeswoman. In the statements, the spokeswoman said that Glassman has treated her only respectfully. "She suggested that people speaking out against Mr. Glassman are doing so to lessen the worth of his company and then buy it from him. 'There is a collective effort to devalue the company and buy it for scraps,' she said," the Times wrote.
The spokeswoman listed Lauren Jenai, Glassman's ex-wife, as one of the individuals wanting to buy CrossFit and said that Glassman believes she and Stumpf are "working together." In 2013, Glassman paid Jenai $20 million as part of their divorce settlement. Jenai recently confirmed to the Times that an investment firm approached her about purchasing the company and that she sent an initial offer of $50 million in order to avoid watching CrossFit "go down the drain."