The IRONMAN Group today announced Scott DeRue as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. DeRue will succeed the retiring Andrew Messick, who will serve as an advisor during the transition period. Messick will also continue to sit on the IRONMAN Board of Directors.
“It is a dream come true,” said DeRue in a call with media members this afternoon.
The nearly year-long search sees DeRue join from Equinox, the luxury lifestyle and fitness brand, where he served as President. DeRue steered Equinox through the COVID-19 pandemic, becoming one of the first major brands to require COVID-19 vaccination for both employees and members during its re-opening process. DeRue also led Equinox’s push beyond fitness locations with openings of hotels and furthering its personal training business.
On the media call, DeRue cited his career-long dedication to life-changing experiences for people, which help people discover or realize their potential, as a key reason for him joining the IRONMAN Group. In addition to his Equinox experience, DeRue is the former Dean of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Prior to becoming Dean, DeRue held multiple faculty and leadership positions at Michigan.
DeRue, like Messick before him, comes from outside the IRONMAN umbrella, with limited experience in IRONMAN’s core business of mass participation events. Notably, DeRue isn’t a triathlete — although he admitted that was likely to change upon joining the company. DeRue has personal investment in the endurance community, having completed the 250 kilometer Gobi March ultramarathon, as well as numerous achievements in the climbing community, including summiting Everest.
DeRue mentioned two key key areas to begin his tenure at IRONMAN — investing and engaging in the community, and a focus on the athlete and the athlete experience. When talking about community engagement, DeRue admitted he had much to learn, but looked forward to connecting with athletes, partners, and other IRONMAN staffers. With regard to athlete experience, DeRue talked about how that experience extended well beyond race day, instead referring to each athlete’s journey from registration to finish line.
“I believe if we take care of our athletes, the rest takes care of itself.”