Gun owners hate to be stabbed in the back. And that’s how it felt in 2018 when Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack decided to stop selling ‘assault rifles’ in his stores.
Stack announced the move after Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people in his former high school in Parkland, Fl, using a gun he purchased in one of Stack’s stores. Since that time, the CEO has been an anti-gun crusader.
But 65-year-old Ed Stack’s time at the helm of Dick’s Sporting Goods stores is coming to a close, as the company announced that he will be stepping down effective February 1st.
Stack who is also the company’s largest shareholder, will be succeeded by the current President of the company, Lauren Hobart. Stack will retain his role as chairman and chief merchant for the time being.
No Change In Policy Coming
But gun owners shouldn’t rejoice. The new CEO, Lauren Hobart, was in full support of Stack’s choices. In fact, she helped him restructure the business so that the loss of millions of dollars in gun sales wouldn’t bankrupt the company.
Fortune reports that Hobart was key in helping the company recover the lost revenue after they axed guns and other hunting gear from their stores:
She played a key role in formulating Dick’s strategy to replace the $300 million in annual sales lost in 2018 after the company made the controversial move to significantly pare its firearms assortment in the wake of a spate of mass shootings. Hobart, armed with the deep customer data a marketing chief needs, also helped Stack come up with a plan to aggressively pursue more serious athletes, not just casual participants, and outdoor enthusiasts who usually shop at REI or L.L. Bean.
Unlike Stack, whose father started the sporting goods retailer in 1948, Hobart comes from a background working with global corporations.
With a resume that includes PepsiCo, JP Morgan, and Wells Fargo Banking, Hobart is not looking to appeal to gun owners any time soon.
Gun Owners Won’t Forgive Or Forget
Since his decision to fundamentally change the company’s holdings, CEO Stack made more and more anti-gun decisions — and comments in interviews with the media.
In October of 2018, Stack told a reporter in a press interview that his company had destroyed $5 million dollars worth of rifles they had on hand when they’d made the decision to stop selling AR-15s.
In response, gun owners told Stack what they thought of him. The company lost $250 million dollars — that’s a quarter of a BILLION — dollars in sales over the next two quarters.