Academy, Ltd. d/b/a Academy Sports + Outdoors ("Academy"), a premier sports, outdoor and lifestyle retailer, named James Kevin "J.K." Symancyk as President and CEO, effective November 2, 2015.
J.K., 43, joins Academy after several years serving as President at Meijer Inc. where he led the multi-billion Midwestern superstore's daily operations. During his time as President of Meijer Inc., he led the organization through a tremendous positive growth phase that resulted in nearly three years of positive comp growth, new market expansion, and the development of a long-term diversification strategy. Previously, J.K. served in executive roles including Chief Operating Officer at Meijer Inc. where he oversaw retail operations, supply chain, manufacturing, merchandising and marketing. Prior to Meijer Inc., he served in various leadership roles at Sam's Club, part of Wal-Mart Stores.
"I'm humbled and thrilled by the opportunity to become a part of the Academy Sports + Outdoors family, and I feel fortunate to be succeeding such a charismatic and accomplished leader as Rodney," says J.K. Symancyk. "The future for Academy Sports + Outdoors is truly limitless, and I'm eager to ensure we continue offering customers convenience, a broad selection of quality products and exceptional customer service as we strive to remain the low price leader in our category. I'm looking forward to getting to know our associates and vendors as we collaborate to become the national, regionally relevant, locally merchandised, sporting goods, outdoor and lifestyle retail store of choice."
J.K. succeeds Rodney Faldyn, who led Academy to extraordinary heights during KKR's ownership, including growing store count by 50%, launching a new e-commerce platform, implementing a new Oracle retail management system, and, most impressively, driving strong performance by doubling cash flow from earnings during his time as CEO.
"It has been my honor and privilege to lead the Academy Sports + Outdoors team for the last decade," says Rodney Faldyn, Academy Sports + Outdoors' outgoing President and CEO. "I'm tremendously proud of how we've strengthened our market position, expanded our store footprint, and invested in talent and infrastructure. I'm confident that J.K. will fully embrace the Academy culture, drive future growth and continue to provide amazing customer service through our 200+ stores and online. I look forward to watching the company's continued evolution and accomplishments over the next several years."
Rodney joined Academy in 2006 as CFO, was promoted to President in 2007 and became CEO when an investment entity controlled by affiliates of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. acquired a majority interest in Academy in August 2011.
"Academy Sports + Outdoors has had a tremendous growth trajectory during the time of our ownership. We are grateful to Rodney for his innumerable contributions and leadership," says Nate Taylor, Academy Sports + Outdoors Chairman of the Board of Managers & KKR Head of Retail – Americas. "J.K. is an exceptional retail strategist with a strong business and financial acumen and proven track record of success. We believe that he will strengthen an already talented management team and enhance a corporate infrastructure that is well positioned for the future. We are also confident in J.K.'s commitment to delivering exceptional customer service, maintaining everyday low prices, fostering team culture, and developing Academy's omnichannel retail environment."
About Academy Sports + Outdoors
Academy Sports + Outdoors is a premier sports, outdoor and lifestyle retailer with a broad assortment of quality hunting, fishing and camping equipment and gear along with sports and leisure products, footwear, apparel, patio sets, barbecue grills and much more. The $4 billion company operates over 200 stores throughout Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, where the company is based. The Academy Sports + Outdoors philosophy is to deliver an unparalleled shopping experience by providing convenience, offering a broad selection of quality products, delivering exceptional customer service and selling the right stuff at everyday low prices. For more information about Academy Sports + Outdoors visit academy.com, facebook.com/academy, twitter.com/academy, pinterest.com/academy, youtube.com/academy and instagram.com/academy.
Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements", which are not historical in nature and are identified by the words "intend," "will" or other similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are dated as of today and are based upon currently available information and our current expectations and assumptions. Forward-looking statements are subject to significant uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes to differ materially from our present expectations. We assume no obligation to update these statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release.