Dicks Ed Stack

Dicks Ed Stack

Chairman and CEO of DICK’S Sporting Goods Edward W. Stack (Photo by Scott Dalton/Invision for DICK’S Sporting Goods/AP Images)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for years you remember how Dick’s Sporting Goods quit carrying ARs – among other things – back in 2018. Well, the CEO behind the chain’s anti-gun moves is now stepping down after 36 years building the business and running the show.

The New York Post reports:

Stack, 65, who is also the company’s largest shareholder, will be succeeded as CEO on Feb. 1 by Lauren Hobart, who has been president of the retailer since 2017 as well as a director. Stack will retain his role as chairman and chief merchant.

The billionaire businessman courted controversy in 2018 after a school shooting in Parkland, Fla, which killed 17 people, mostly students. Dick’s stopped selling automatic rifles in its stores and imposed stricter sales regulations of guns, which provoked customer boycotts of the company.

In case you didn’t know, here’s the lowdown on what happened to all the guns Dick’s took off the shelves back in 2018:

Last year, Stack revealed that Dick’s Sporting Goods not only took all assault rifles off its shelves — it even turned $5 million worth of the weapons into scrap metal.

“I said, ‘You know what? If we really think these things should be off the street, then we need to destroy them,’ ” he said in an interview.

So, does a change of CEOs mean Dick’s might stop being such…well, dicks about guns? Not likely. Numerous publications refer to Stack’s successor, Lauren Hobart, as having been his “right hand” for years, including through the company’s anti-gun purge.

Hobart was apparently also 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.

Are you still shopping at Dick’s Sporting Goods?



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