- Greg Glassman, cofounder of the global fitness brand CrossFit, announced he would be stepping down as CEO on June 9, after a controversial tweet about George Floyd. He retains full ownership of the company but announced on June 24 that he would be selling it.
- More than 30 former CrossFit employees, current and former affiliate gym owners, and athletes told Business Insider that the company culture demeaned women, and was ruled by fear of Glassman.
- Anecdotes included one from an employee who was in Glassman’s private box at the Reebok Crossfit Games in 2015 said the CEO mentioned “group of hot lawyer chicks.” He was referring to his legal team, all women except for the chief counsel.
- The wifi password for CrossFit’s office in Solana Beach, California, was “wetp—y,” former HQ employees told Business Insider. Some former staffers claimed Glassman deliberately hired women he found attractive.
- Are you a former or current CrossFit employee, gym owner, or athlete with a story to share? Email the reporters at [email protected] or [email protected]
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In the wake ofa controversial tweet about George Floyd, CrossFit founder Greg Glassman stepped down as CEO of the company, June 9. In the weeks following, insiders who worked at or with the company spoke to Business Insider about what they said were patterns of sexism and misogyny that trickled down from the highest levels of the corporate structure.
At the centre had been Glassman himself, according to more than 30 former employees, athletes, and affiliates involved in CrossFit.
The anecdotes that came out of our investigation were many.
Three former HQ staffers told Business Insider the WiFi password at CrossFit’s office in Solana Beach, California, and at Glassman’s home outside of Santa Cruz where he sometimes hosted employees, was “wetp—y.”
The vulgar phrase was more than an off-colour joke. Multiple former staff members who spoke to Business Insider said this kind of culture was the norm from Glassman and inside the company he’s led since 1995.
In July 2015, Glassman, sitting in his private box at the StubHub Centre in Carson, California, at the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games, referred to his “group of hot lawyer chicks” in front of business associates from Reebok and CrossFit staffers.
He was referring to CrossFit’s legal team – which was all-female, save for chief counsel – one former employee in the IT department, who was in the box, told Business Insider.
Andy Stumpf, a former Navy Seal and CrossFit HQ staffer from 2007 to 2014, released a podcast detailing how sexism was a pattern of behaviour in the upper levels of CrossFit management during his time there.
“I cannot count the number of times that derogatory and specifically sexual comments were made about female staff members directly in my presence,” Stumpf said on his podcast, “Cleared Hot,” on June 12 about Glassman and the company.
Glassman also reportedly used his authority within the company to hire people he found attractive, according to several former staff members.
“That was like his thing. … If you were in his crosshairs, one of the ways he would try to manipulate is by giving you a job. ‘You wanna work for CrossFit? I have that power’ kind of situation,” one former HQ employee told Business Insider.
CrossFit didn’t have a human resources department until 2013, according to a former employee in the IT department.
“The HR director began trying to impose HR rules in a company where drawing penises on everything was … commonplace,” the former IT employee told Business Insider.
Following the publication of these findings in a Business Insider investigation, CrossFit announced June 24 that Glassman had agreed to sell the company to a new owner, Eric Roza, a longtime affiliate gym owner and the former CEO of consumer data collection startup Datalogix, which sold to enterprise tech giant Oracle in January 2015.
Roza who will also become CrossFit’s third CEO in a month, replacing Dave Castro, former director of the CrossFit Games, who had briefly served the role upon Glassman’s resignation. The deal is slated to close next month, according to the announcement from the company.
Read the entire investigation here.
Editing by Lina Batarags.