SoulCycle announced that company director and CEO Melanie Whelan is stepping down, effective today. Sunder Reddy, SoulCycle CFO, will serve as interim CEO until a permanent replacement is found.
“I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to have led the SoulCycle team and brand over the past nearly eight years during a transformational time for this amazing community,” Whelan told Adweek in a statement. “The future is bright for this one-of-a-kind organization, and I will be cheering on its continued growth and success.”
Whelan will stay on in an advisory capacity throughout the transition.
“We want to thank Melanie for her hard work and dedication to SoulCycle,” said executive chairman Harvey Spevak in a statement. “Melanie and I have worked together for many years, and I look forward to seeing what she conquers next. We’re grateful to have such a strong interim leader in Sunder throughout this transition and are actively supporting him as we search for a permanent replacement.”
SoulCycle’s image has had a rough few months. In August, news surfaced that SoulCycle and Equinox owner Stephen Ross was holding a multi-million-dollar fundraiser for President Donald Trump in the Hamptons, and the backlash on the internet was fierce. Some exercise club customers saw the owner’s support for Trump as counter to the pro-LGBTQ+ messages that SoulCycle and Equinox have been sending and noisily canceled their memberships.
In response, Whelan put out a statement in an attempt to distance SoulCycle from Ross, reiterating the company’s support for “diversity, inclusion and equality,” and calling Ross a “passive investor.”
SoulCycle gave no reason for the abrupt change in leadership.