Ed Stack Retires With A Big Stack

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After a 36-year run at the helm of Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ed Stack is stepping down from his role as CEO.

Looking Back

Dick’s Sporting Goods was founded in 1948 by Ed’s father, Dick Stack.

Ed and his two siblings took over the operation in 1984, then just a two-location sporting goods store in upstate New York. Under Stack’s leadership, the company grew to 850+ stores and nearly $9 billion in revenue.

As competitors including Sports Authority and Modell’s folded under pressure from Amazon, Dick’s made a successful pivot online (with ecommerce now generating more than $1 billion in annual revenue.)

Stance on Guns: In the wake of the Parkland school shooting, Stack (an outspoken hunter and proponent of the second amendment) made the decision to stop selling semi-automation weapons and to halt the sale of weapons to those under 21.

  • The decision was a controversial one in the sporting goods world, with 62 employees quitting in protest.
  • Stack said, “we knew the blowback we would have,” but has replaced hunting gear with higher-margin items such as kayaks, clothing and sneakers.

Mr. Stack, Dick’s largest shareholder, will stay on as chairman and chief merchant. Lauren Hobart, the president of the retailer, will become the company’s first woman CEO on February 1st.