ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Sports Authority today announced that Doug Morton, age 59, 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 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."
About Sports Authority
Headquartered in Englewood, CO, Sports Authority is one of the nation's largest full-line sporting goods retailers, offering a comprehensive and high-quality assortment of brand name sporting apparel and equipment at competitive prices.
Sports Authority is staffed with experts in all areas of sports and fitness related topics, and strives to be the ultimate "authority," both on and off the field. Whether in the game or cheering from the sidelines, Sports Authority is the leading destination for consumers to fulfill their own sports equipment needs, as well as find their favorite team's apparel.
Sports Authority operates 465 stores in 45 states, and employs more than 15,000 associates nationwide. It also operates stores in Japan under a licensing agreement with AEON Co., Ltd. The company's e-commerce website is located at www.sportsauthority.com.
About Leonard Green & Partners, LP
Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. is a private investment firm established in 1989 which manages approximately $9 billion of equity capital. The firm's investments are focused primarily on North American companies in a range of industries including retail, consumer products, distribution, media, business services and healthcare. Significant investments include The Brickman Group, The Container Store, David's Bridal, Jetro Cash and Carry, Neiman Marcus Group, Petco Animal Supplies, The Sports Authority, The Tire Rack, Tourneau and Whole Foods.