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Hibbett Sports Taps City Gear Chief as Its New Top Exec

Hibbett Sports Inc. has named a new president and CEO.

The athletic retailer today announced the appointment of Michael Longo as its chief executive. He succeeds Jeff Rosenthal, who spent nine years at the top post and revealed plans to retire in late March.

Longo also replaces Rosenthal on the firm’s board of directors. He previously served as CEO of regional specialty retailer City Gear LLC, overseeing its acquisition by Hibbett last year.

“It’s a very exciting time for Hibbett as we continue our mission of improving the productivity of our store base while also growing the omnichannel business to deliver a differentiated customer experience to underserved markets,” Longo said in a statement.

The Birmingham, Ala.-based firm last October agreed to pay $88 million in cash for City Gear, snapping up its 135 stores in 15 states. City Gear operates as a subsidiary of Hibbett, maintaining its Memphis headquarters and continues to be led by existing members of its senior management team.

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“Given Mike’s extensive retail industry and leadership experience, we believe he is uniquely qualified to help strengthen Hibbett’s leadership position in both the customer experience and the active footwear and apparel industry,” said Anthony F. Crudele, chairman of Hibbett’s board. “Mike has a demonstrated track record for assessing evolving consumer and customer trends and needs and managing with an eye toward not only the short term, but the long term as well. His leadership skills, strategic acumen, dedication and integrity will be invaluable as we apply a laser focus to the rapidly changing retail marketplace.”

Prior to City Gear, Longo worked in leadership roles at AutoZone Inc., beginning as a VP in 1996 and transitioning to EVP in 2005. He has also been on the board of Heniff Transportation Company since 2017 and Exide Technologies since 2015, currently serving as its operations committee chairman as well as a member of both its audit and governance committees. He holds a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the U.S. Military Academy and an MBA from Harvard University.

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