The Sports Authority announced that Doug Morton will be retiring as CEO. Morton, who has been with Sports Authority for 22 years, and served as CEO for more than a decade, will remain with the company as chairman of the board.
The Board of Directors has retained Herbert Mines Associates to conduct a comprehensive internal and external executive search to identify a replacement Chief Executive Officer. Until a replacement has been identified, the company will be operated by an interim Executive Operating Committee consisting of President/Chief Merchandising Officer David Campisi, Chief Administrative Officer/Chief Financial Officer Tom Hendrickson, and Chief Operating Officer Greg Waters.
“Doug has been the driving force in growing Sports Authority from a small regional chain to a national powerhouse. He has been one of Leonard Green & Partners' most trusted and valued management partners for the past fifteen years. We respect Doug's decision at this time to step back from day-to-day operations and we look forward to his continued involvement as Chairman,” said Jonothan Sokoloff, Managing Partner, Leonard Green & Partners, L.P.
Morton, 59, joined Sports Authority in 1986 and was named CEO in 1995. During his tenure as CEO, the company acquired multiple other sporting goods retailers and created the nation's first national full-line sporting goods chain.
“When I began my career with Sports Authority, we were a small chain of stores and no one could have imagined the transformation of our company into a multi-billion dollar retailer with a national footprint. As Chairman, I will continue to champion our brand and our people.”
Morton added, “The time is right to transition out of the CEO role and turn the company over to a new leader who will inherit an organization that is well-capitalized, possesses a strong management team, great vendors, and significant new store development possibilities.”