#212: Tom Dowd, CEO of F45 Training

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Today, I’m joined by Tom Dowd, CEO of F45 Training, a studio franchise built on high-intensity functional group workouts.

Founded in 2012, F45’s early success skyrocketed it to 2200+ franchises and a 2021 IPO, before financial troubles hit. Now, investor Tom Dowd has stepped in as CEO, leveraging experience as an executive at GNC and Performance Inspired Nutrition to steer the course.

In this episode, we discuss how the company’s recent challenges — including layoffs, a leadership shakeup, and financial struggles — led to Tom assuming the CEO role. Plus, he shares his back-to-basics approach to turning the business around.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why F45 faced financial struggles the past few years
  • Tom’s leadership philosophy and plans to push F45 to new heights
  • About Mark Walhberg’s involvement as investor and Chief Branding Officer

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(00:00) Introduction
(01:52) Investing in F45 with Mark Wahlberg
(03:52) Taking over the CEO role
(07:19) F45’s financial and strategic challenges when Tom took over
(11:43) Tom’s operating and growth philosophy
(14:56) Balancing internal strategy and wall street metrics
(19:49) Executing the basics and getting buy-in from employees and franchisees
(21:28) The importance of brand recognition
(23:06) The success of their pilates concepts
(26:46) Expansion of trending concepts
(31:16) Potential additional revenue streams and partnerships
(33:38) Considering going from a public company back to private
(35:29) Future plans and growth
(37:00) Conclusion

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