Recently, Spartan Race announced the search for a new CEO to sub in for Spartan Race founder and current CEO, Joe De Sena. The search for a new CEO.
How do you replace Joe De Sena? First by getting to know a little bit about who he is and how he does what he does. Here is Joe in a nutshell:
- He grew up in Howard Beach, Queens, where he launched multiple businesses before he reached legal drinking age. He sold fireworks to classmates until the school caught on and shut him down. Then he sold T-shirts, and finally hit on pool cleaning, starting with the swimming pools of local mobsters, including John Gotti. He eventually sold the business for a half-million dollars.
- He took his talents to Wall Street, gained 30 unwanted pounds, and became obsessed with endurance training. The more extreme the challenge, the better. In one adventure race, he was stuck in the Canadian wilderness in the dead of winter, and dug out a snow cave to survive the minus-30 degree temperature.
- He moved his family to the farm in Vermont, where he launched the Death Race in 2005 and the far more accessible (and considerably more popular) Spartan Race in 2010.
Consider this bit from a story detailing why De Sena started carrying a kettlebell with him–everywhere, all the time:
You can see why the theory is appealing to De Sena, whose life and business are based on finding new ways to make things harder. It’s why he puts himself through punishing workouts every morning, why he takes cold showers, and why he carries a 44-pound kettlebell with him wherever he goes.
“I’ve been thinking on this shit for 35 years,” he says. “The majority of people want to make their lives softer and easier. But I don’t think we’re meant to sit around in a climate-controlled house. The worse the weather is, the more we should go out into it. We’re designed to deal with challenges and obstacles. We’re supposed to get chased by a lion and hunt for deer. We’re wired for that. Now we just get the frustration of traffic, or the coffee not being the right temperature, or the kids screaming.”
With this in mind, and De Sena’s intent to bring “obstacle immunity” to the masses (as well as ripping millions of people off the comfort zone of the couch and outside into the sun, mud, rain and cold, here is a selection of video applications submitted to Spartan as the search to replace Joe begins.
Spartan’s Search for a New CEO: The Applicants