When news broke this week that CrossFit was sold to a new owner, many of us were quick to ask: Who is Eric Roza, the incoming owner and CEO of CrossFit?
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Dear CrossFit community, Since I discovered CrossFit 10 years ago, it has changed my life, and I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to lead CrossFit through its next chapter as CEO and owner, following the closing next month. As a box owner and athlete, I’ve experienced CrossFit’s transformative power and the shared bond it creates between people of different races, genders, ages, ethnicities, incomes, educations and physical abilities. That magic, created by our affiliate owners, coaches, and athletes in 158 countries around the world, is real. And I believe it makes the world a better place. In the past weeks, divisive statements and allegations have left many members of our community struggling to reconcile our transformative experiences in the local box with what we’ve been reading online. My view is simple: Racism and sexism are abhorrent and will not be tolerated in CrossFit. We open our arms to everyone, and I will be working hard to rebuild bridges with those whose trust we have lost. I come to you with deep humility and the realization that we have hard work to do. I am committed to listening, I am committed to learning, and I am committed to leading positive change. Most of all, I am committed to CrossFit and to you, as a member of our community. If you are committed to the future of CrossFit and have ideas, I want to hear from you. And if you loved CrossFit, and we lost you along the way, I want to regain your trust and partnership. Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Eric Roza #committedtocrossfit
Roza is no stranger to business or the fitness industry, giving him the perfect combination of skills and experience that this community really needs.
He’s the founder of CrossFit Sanitas, a respected affiliate since 2013 in Boulder, Colorado. The affiliate owner and athlete understands what this community means to people. In an open letter, he writes:
As a box owner and athlete, I’ve experienced CrossFit’s transformative power and the shared bond it creates between people of different races, genders, ages, ethnicities, incomes, educations and physical abilities. That magic, created by our affiliate owners, coaches, and athletes in 158 countries around the world, is real. And I believe it makes the world a better place.
In the same letter, Roza also acknowledges head-on the pain and betrayal many are feeling right now, saying:
My view is simple: Racism and sexism are abhorrent and will not be tolerated in CrossFit. We open our arms to everyone, and I will be working hard to rebuild bridges with those whose trust we have lost.
He might not be a household name (yet), but that statement right there has already been enough to, at the very least, renew people’s hope in CrossFit, and hope for a better future.
Roza expertise extends far outside the gym, too. One of his many notable credits is as the chief executive of Datalogix, which — according to Financial Times — builds detailed profiles of almost every household in the United States. It collects thousands of data points reflecting everything from the items they buy to the kinds of cars they drive to the value of their home and estimated net worth.
Roza was responsible for turning Datalogix around, after it found itself suffering in a declining market. He was the one who shifted it to become more data-driven, and the company was eventually acquired by Oracle. He went on to open an onsite box at Datalogix and then two more at Oracle. According to Boxrox, Roza is “a former Oracle executive and is now working for US venture capitalists General Catalyst.”
So, it’s safe to say that Roza’s business acumen is better than average.
Knowing that Roza has experience turning a company around should bring comfort to our community, which could use similar help, to say the least. Over the last several weeks, it’s been revealed that the problems we’re just now noticing might be running deeper than most of us knew.
The result? A community based on hope, inspiration, dedication, and determination was left feeling like they got the rug pulled out from under them.
The tides might be turning, though. Roza and Dave Castro held a YouTube Live on June 24, and if the comments on the video are any indication, Roza is in good company.
As our community is so good at doing, many have welcomed Roza with open arms. Although change takes time, we look forward to seeing what he has planned.
Main image: CrossFit Sanitas/Instagram