More Changes At CrossFit HQ – CEO Jeff Cain Resigns

Written by:

William Imbo

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CrossFit continues with the trend of change, announcing that another major shift has taken place at CrossFit HQ.

If you associate the infamous Greg Glassman as the CEO of CrossFit, you’ve associated wrong. Though he’s the founder and owner of the organization, Glassman assigned Jeff Cain to take over the position as CEO in 2017. And, after just two years in this position, Cain submitted his letter of resignation and will officially step down on September 1st, 2019.

In the wake of major layoffs this year, the disappearance of CrossFit on social media platforms, and a very different Games environment, many fans are wondering: why now?

CrossFit HQ has kept us endlessly on our toes, making announcements like this one a little nerve-wracking to read about. Even so, such changes are becoming the new norm surrounding the company’s overall structure.

Glassman brought Cain onto the scene to help implement the abundance of changes we’ve been witnessing take place in the last year and a half. In an effort to get the company back “on track” with Glassman’s main goal of focusing more on affiliates, training, and wellness, and less on the CrossFit Games and media side of the business, he recruited Cain to make that happen.

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The changes were no doubt put into action in full force, an overwhelming success in Glassman and Cain’s eyes. Perhaps the resignation is the result of a long list of changes that have been successfully checked off and finished by the CEO. Glassman is satisfied with how the changes played out and now he’s taking back his throne as founder, owner, and (unofficial) CEO. Though Glassman claims that he will not be hiring a replacement in Cain’s absence, we can assume that he will take the wheel and drive the ship per usual.

Glassman is anything but conventional. He may be the furthest thing from a rule follower and seems to loathe the idea of structure and the implementation of a typical business model. It’s not often that you see a company lose their COO, CTO, and CEO within a few months and claim that everything is being run smoothly. Despite this, Glassman assures us that this is the case.

In an interview with Armen Hammer he said, “I know what I want to do. I want to be in the helping people space. And I want to help and protect those that help people. And if that’s a smaller company, if that looks like 5,000 affiliates as opposed to 15,000, so be it.” He also emphasized that he wouldn’t be surprised if that number also grew to 150,000 affiliates. Whatever the case may be, he claims, “I know how to build something I’m proud of.” And if we’ve learned anything this year, it’s to stay out of his way in doing so.

Losing 50% of your staff will no doubt relieve some of the financial burden that many assume is an issue. However, after watching so much change take place at the top, it simultaneously leaves many scratching their heads, unsure of what Greg Glassman is up to once again.

If we can assume anything regarding this resignation, it’s that CrossFit will continue to pursue a path back to its original roots. Less emphasis will be placed on the competitive aspect of CrossFit – Glassman will, no doubt, use his power to ensure that this is the case. Jeff Cain is leaving the company satisfied with the numerous changes he set in motion and now hands the baton back to the leading man, Greg Glassman, who I’m sure will continue with the theme of change as time goes on.

About William Imbo

William Imbo is an Associate Editor at BoxLife magazine, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and holds an MPS in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University. He is an avid CrossFitter and loves film, music and travel, thanks to having grown up across Europe. A fan of the New Orleans Saints and Newcastle United, Will's favorite CrossFit girl is Helen-least favorite being Isabel.

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