CrossFit, one of the largest national affiliate gyms in the United States, hired a new CEO two years after its founder resigned from the position due to a controversial tweet about George Floyd.
The company announced in a press release on Tuesday that Don Faul, a former U.S. Marine platoon commander, and business executive, would be the new chief executive. The news broke just 24 hours before the company hosts its biggest annual event, the 2022 NOBull CrossFit Games.
"I met Don more than seven years ago, and I believe he is the perfect leader to bridge the past, present, and future of CrossFit," said former CEO Eric Roza in a statement. "From his military background to his passion for training in the box, Don has seen firsthand how CrossFit can transform and save lives, so he understands the importance of growing our business and sharing our proven, unmatched model for health and fitness around the world."
Roza took control of the gym brand in 2020 after its founder and former chief executive Greg Classman resigned following controversial statements he made about George Floyd. Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic forced the company to close many of its stores across the United States.
The former CEO announced that he would be taking time off from his role as the company's leader in order to focus on his mental health. Ultimately, Roza resigned from the position last February and was replaced by interim CEO Alison Andreozzi, CrossFit's chief financial officer, in May.
Outside of his military background, Faul has a long list of stints within the technology industry. He is the former CEO of Athos, an apparel gym clothes company, former vice president for Global Online Operations at Facebook, former Head of Operations for Pinterest, and worked at Google as a manager of online sales.
"At a time when global health trends are in decline, when people are starved for personal connection and community, CrossFit is more important than ever," Faul said in a statement. "I've experienced the impact of CrossFit firsthand, seeing how it helps people improve their fitness, reverse chronic disease, and build meaningful connections with other members of the CrossFit community."
"There are over 13,000 CrossFit Affiliates around the world that have changed millions of people's lives. But we're just getting started," Faul added. "Our job is to share CrossFit with the rest of the world, so our affiliates and coaches can help and inspire the tens of millions of people we haven't yet reached."
The former technology executive has been a member of CrossFit gyms for eight years, according to the company.