Wednesday morning, interim CrossFit CEO Dave Castro posted a letter to affiliate owners revealing that founder Greg Glassman is selling the company to Eric Roza, a 10-year affiliate owner. This follows a social media controversy in which Glassman sparked criticism with a tweet about George Floyd's murder and COVID-19. The New York Times also released an article detailing allegations of a sexist workplace, as well as "routine and rampant sexual harassment."
"I started a company with some essential and elegant truths that nobody could, or maybe would, tell," Glassman said in a Twitter statement. "It resulted in the fastest growing chain in world history. It did so well and became so popular that it has become a thing far larger than I could have hoped. The world has changed, but the magnificent human machine, the proven benefits of CrossFit, and its market opportunity remain unchanged. It is time for the founder to bid adieu and find other creative outlets. I have complete faith that Eric Roza (@RozaEric), owner of @crossfitsanitas, can shepherd CrossFit Inc effectively into this new world."
Terms of the deal were not made public as part of Wednesday's announcement. The transition will go into effect once the transaction closes next month. Castro, the director of the CrossFit Games will remain at HQ and will work with Roza for the foreseeable future.
"Very excited to welcome and partner with @RozaEric in his future role as owner and CEO of CrossFit. Eric is CrossFit to the core and he will help us take CrossFit to the next level. #crossfit" Castro tweeted on Wednesday. The longtime programmer of events also praised Roza's ability to deal with difficult issues in the press, as well as financial issues sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following his initial controversial comments about Floyd and racism, an estimated 1,200 of the 15,000 affiliates threatened to cut ties with CrossFit. Reebok, on the other hand, confirmed that the 2020 Games season would be the last in a longtime partnership. The contract expires at the end of the season but the two companies had examined the possibility of moving forward with a new deal prior to Glassman's comments.
Several top athletes also voiced their displeasure about Glassman remaining the owner of CrossFit and pledged to skip the upcoming Games. The list included former champions in Samantha Briggs and Katrin Davidsdottir, as well as two second-place finishers in Noah Ohlsen and Brent Fikowski. Now they can reassess their relationship with CrossFit HQ.