Ed Stack is stepping down as chief executive of Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. after decades at the helm of the retailer he built into a national chain and led into the debate over gun violence.

Mr. Stack, 65 years old, Dick’s biggest shareholder, will stay on as chairman and chief merchant, a role he held in addition to CEO, a spokeswoman said. Lauren Hobart, the retailer’s president, will become chief executive on Feb. 1, the spokeswoman said. Ms. Hobart joined the company in 2011 as chief marketing officer.

In 1984 Mr. Stack and his siblings bought the company from their father, Dick Stack. At the time, it was a two-store sporting-goods company in Binghamton, N.Y. The chain, now based in Pittsburgh, has more than 850 stores around the U.S. under different banners, including Golf Galaxy and Field & Stream stores.

“This is the perfect time for this transition,” the outgoing CEO said in a statement. “We have the best management team in the company’s history, and the investments we have made in our people, our stores, and our communities are paying off.”

The announcement comes as Dick’s Sporting Goods continues to reap the benefits of consumers buying more workout gear, sporting goods and outdoor equipment during the coronavirus pandemic. Its e-commerce sales surged 95% during the third quarter, and it reported record quarterly same-store sales growth of more than 23%. The company also cited strength in the golf category.

Following stints at PeosiCo, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan,  Hobart joined Dick’s in February 2011 as senior vice president and chief marketing officer, where she played a key role in helping develop and launch one of the retailer’s top private labels, CALIA by Carrie Underwood. In 2015, she was promoted to executive vice president and CMO, and then chief customer and digital officer. She was named president in May 2017 and has served on the board since January 2018. Hobart also earlier this year joined the board of Yum Brands.

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Todd Horwitz Chief Strategist BubbaTrading.com
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