SoulCycle CEO Resigns Just Months After Equinox-Trump Scandal


SoulCycle’s long-time CEO has resigned from her post at the popular fitness company.

According to CNBC Make It, Melanie Whelan—who first joined the brand as its COO in 2012 and has helmed it since 2015—is leaving SoulCycle as of Tuesday, December 3. When pressed for an impetus for Whelan’s departure by CNBC Make It, SoulCycle reps declined to specify. But a source at SoulCycle who was briefed on the decision did confirm that Whelan and SoulCycle’s board agreed it was “time for a leadership transition.”

As NewNowNext reported this summer, SoulCycle and its sister brand, Equinox gyms, were hit with severe criticism and calls for boycotts after Stephen Ross, the owner of their parent company, held a fundraising party in August for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign. Tickets reportedly ranged from $100,000 to $250,000.

Given SoulCycle and Equinox’s reputations as queer-friendly workout spaces, news of their parent company’s leader backing a notoriously anti-LGBTQ administration was especially upsetting to queer gymgoers.

Equinox did eventually issue a press statement clarifying that the brand stands with its LGBTQ employees and patrons, and claiming that Ross is “a passive investor and is not involved in the management of either business.”

“As is consistent with our policies, no company profits are used to fund politicians,” reps from Equinox and SoulCycle wrote on Twitter. “We are committed to all our members and the communities we live in. We believe in tolerance and equality, and will always stay true to those values.”

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.



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