Academy Sports Names J.K. Symancyk President and CEO

Academy Sports Names J.K. Symancyk President and CEO

Academy Sports + Outdoors named James Kevin (J.K.) Symancyk as president and CEO, effective Nov. 2, 2015.

Symancyk, 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 COO 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,” said 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 percent, 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,” said Faldyn. “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.”

Faldyn 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,” said 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.”

Academy Sports + Outdoors 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.