Dick’s Sporting Goods names new CEO as Q3 earnings crush estimates
The man who built Dick’s Sporting Goods into the nation’s largest sporting goods retailer is stepping down as CEO.
The company announced that Lauren Hobart, currently president of Dick’s Sporting Goods, will succeed Ed Stack, 65, as CEO on Feb. 1. Stack, who is Dick’s biggest shareholder, will transition from chairman to executive chairman and continue as chief merchant. He also will oversee key strategic growth initiatives for the company.
Stack has served as chairman and CEO of the company since he and his siblings bought his father's two small sporting goods stores in upstate New York in 1984. Under Stack's leadership and predominantly through organic growth, Dick’s has grown into a retail powerhouse with more than 850 stores, several banners and nearly $9 billion in annual revenue.
The announcement came as the retailer reported a strong third quarter during which its same-store sales rose 23.2% and revenue rose 23% to a better-than-expected $2.41 billion. Adjusted earnings per share were $2.01, topping analysts’ estimates of $1.01. E-commerce sales surged 95%.
“This is the perfect time for this transition,” Stack said. “We have the best management team in the company's history, and the investments we have made in our people, our stores, and our communities are paying off. … She [Hobart] has proven herself to be a capable, innovative and respected leader who has helped drive our business and our culture."
Hobart has revamped the company's marketing efforts and helped drive its e-commerce strategy, among other substantive growth initiatives. She also is credited with expanding Dick’s focus on the women’s athletic apparel and footwear market, playing a key role in the launch of several private labels, including the very popular CALIA by Carrie Underwood line. Hobart also has helped the company refocus on other key categories such as youth sports and improved customer service.
Hobart joined Dick’s in February 2011, as senior VP and chief marketing officer. In 2015, she was named executive VP and CMO, and then chief customer and digital officer. She was appointed in May 2017, and has served on the company’s board since January 2018.
Prior to joining Dick’s, Hobart had several senior executive roles at PepsiCo.
"Leading the company that Ed built is truly a privilege and an honor," Hobart said. "For nearly 10 years, I have witnessed first-hand his commitment to Dick’s values, to our teammates, customers and the communities we serve. I am fortunate to have Ed as a mentor and look forward to leading the company into this next phase of growth with Ed and our senior management team."