Nick Martin, Founder Of The Pro’s Closet–His Open Letter as Steps Down as CEO

Today is a day to celebrate. 

15 years ago, with a van, a box of used cycling clothing, a borrowed computer, and no prior job experience, I founded TPC. Never in my wildest dreams could an aspiring mountain bike pro living off of $17 per week have predicted the level of success that TPC would achieve nor the opportunity that lies ahead. With nearly 100 employees, 140K square feet of new warehouse space, and a plan to double in size over the next 12 months, TPC has grown into something much larger than I could have ever imagined. And we are just getting started! 

I have been blessed with this amazing opportunity to learn first-hand what it takes to grow a business. It is an education that doesn’t come with a diploma but rather a series of lessons which you can only learn by experiencing them firsthand. 

TPC has undergone an extraordinary transformation over the past several years, and over the next couple of years TPC will continue this transformation, with expectations of growing with high double digits over the next couple of years — to put that in perspective, our plan is to sell upwards of 30,000 bikes in 2021 alone!

To get here, I have had to reinvent myself, level up my own skillsets year after year to keep up with the business, and in the process, grow comfortable being uncomfortable. Being a CEO is an all-consuming lifestyle choice, and my priorities over these last 15 years have placed TPC above everything else. As a Founder/CEO, there is also a natural tendency to hold on. This can be detrimental to the business when the opportunity is outpacing one’s personal capacity. 

Being acutely tuned in with this tendency, I have made the commitment every couple of years to take a step back and look at what lies ahead for TPC. In doing so, I ask myself two honest questions: What expertise do we need around the table to achieve our vision? And, Do I have the emotional capacity and the expertise to do what it takes to achieve that vision?

After countless hours reflecting on those questions, and many long, honest conversations with my wife Elizabeth, we have come to the decision that the time has come to turn over the reins as CEO to a leader that has the experience and capacity to successfully guide TPC into its next chapter of growth.

With this humble conclusion, I am proud and honored to officially announce that John Levisay will be transitioning from his role on TPC’s board of directors to TPC’s new CEO. 

I couldn’t be more excited to work even more closely with John and learn from him as we capture the massive opportunity in front of us. As I carefully contemplated the profile of our future CEO, I knew that the future candidate would need to check a couple of key boxes. First, they would need to authentically embody all of our core values. John does this in spades: his humility and approachable leadership style are a perfect fit for TPC’s culture. Second, the future candidate would need to be resilient, courageous and have a natural drive for success. John comes with over 20 years of online marketplace experience and has earned a track record for successfully driving rapid growth and scale. Most recently, John was the Founder / CEO at Craftsy, a groundbreaking curated marketplace for online lifestyle education and supplies (later renamed Bluprint). For over 10 years, John successfully scaled the company from inception to over 300 employees, ultimately leading to a successful acquisition by NBC Universal in 2017. John also brings deep experience in customer focus, product (website and apps), analytics, content, and community elements that will help us achieve our vision to change the way the world buys and sells bikes.

For me personally, this is a celebration. It is an opportunity after 15 years to shed some “weight” and free up some mental energy to reinvest in my growing family. It is also an opportunity to level up our executive team and invest in the future. To be clear, I am not going anywhere. I will continue to be an active member of our leadership team. I will be taking this opportunity to refocus my skills on aspects of our business that I am deeply passionate about: our culture, our brand, and our processes, all the while sitting alongside our new leader and supporting our team in carrying out our vision and strategy for the future.

In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” 

It is an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity that lies ahead of us today, and it is because of our amazing team that I am confident in our future. 

Welcome to our family, John! 

I look forward to introducing John to our team in the coming weeks when we bring everyone together in our new warehouse to officially unveil the new space. More details on this event to follow.

Much love and gratitude,

Nick

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