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Rob DeMartini to depart USA Cycling as president and CEO

Rob DeMartini took on the role as head of USA Cycling in January of 2019
Rob DeMartini took on the role as head of USA Cycling in January of 2019 (Image credit: USA Cycling)

USA Cycling is expected to officially announce the departure of President and CEO Rob DeMartini later this week. After three years at the helm of the federation, DeMartini departs for Purple Innovation, a mattress and comfort product manufacturer, where Sports Business Journal has reported he will be CEO and a board member.

DeMartini brought a long resume of brand leadership to USA Cycling, having served for several consumer product companies, such as Procter & Gamble, as well as a dozen years as the president and CEO of apparel and shoe company New Balance, a global apparel and shoe company with 8,200 employees and more than $4 billion in revenue. 

In another move by the US governing body, they announced six days ago that Erika Lehman was hired as the Chief Marketing Officer, moving into the position in Colorado Springs from US Figure Skating. She replaced Matt Heitmann, who had served in the CMO role for only a few months this summer.

DeMartini faced a year of event cancellations across the country, even a calendar of national championships, due to the health restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. 

Once events began to return this spring, he was involved in controversy related to the state of Arkansas and its legislature’s stance on anti-transgender laws that many see as an attack on the LGBTQ community. Arkansas became the third state in the US, along with Tennessee and Mississippi, to sign laws to ban trans girls and women from participating in school sports according to their gender identity.

It was unclear if the new Arkansas law would impact a UCI-sanctioned mountain bike race in that state in March, or upcoming road and cyclo-cross races later in the year, and USA Cycling was under pressure from its members to address the situation. In an interview with Singletracks.com, USA Cycling CEO Rob DeMartini did not support a boycott, and later took to social media to say his comments were "poorly worded by me and does not reflect the position of USA Cycling".

During his time at USA Cycling, DeMartini formed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee in January 2020 and expand grassroots participation in the sport of cycling.

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