Academy Sports + Outdoors Names New President

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
Jamie goodman

Academy Sports and Outdoors has named Sam J. Johnson, EVP of Retail Operations, its new president, succeeding Michael P. Mullican, who recently informed the company that he is stepping down to pursue other personal and professional opportunities. 

The promotion is effective as of October 23, 2023. Mullican will serve the company in an advisory capacity through a brief transition period.

"I am honored to take on my new role as Academy's next president,” said Johnson. I look forward to working closely with Steve, our Board, and the entire Academy team to continue advancing our long-term growth strategy through new store openings and the increased productivity of existing stores and distribution centers, while providing fun for all our customers.

"I also want to thank Michael for his service and leadership to Academy and all his contributions to our success, including helping lead the company through remarkable growth, an initial public offering and a debt refinancing. All of us wish him the best in his future endeavors."

In his new role, Johnson will continue to report to CEO Steve Lawrence and his responsibilities will include continued oversight of retail operations and real estate and construction, as well as new responsibility for logistics and supply chain. 

Johnson has served as EVP of retail operations and a key member of the executive leadership team since joining Academy in April 2017. He led the transformation of Academy's store operations to sector-leading store productivity and profitability, while also achieving record customer satisfaction scores. Mr. Johnson was also instrumental in helping create a more exciting shopping experience by hiring "enthusiasts" to help customers make more informed purchasing decisions, while also investing in technology and processes that helped improve operations and drive greater productivity. 

During his tenure at Academy, he has developed a strong partnership with the company's logistics and supply chain organization, positioning him well to take on this added responsibility. Prior to joining the company, Johnson spent seven years with hhgregg, Inc., where he most recently served as chief retail officer and led various functions including store operations, customer relations, commercial sales, real estate and visual merchandising. Prior to hhgregg, Inc., he spent more than 20 years in various leadership roles with Sears Holdings Corporation, including vice president of Small Stores.

In connection with Johnson's promotion to president, Eric Friederich has been promoted to SVP of Retail Operations, succeeding Johnson as the head of store operations. Friederich has been with Academy since November 2016, most recently as regional vice president of East Region Stores and previously as senior director of communication and merchandise execution and as a district manager. He has more than 25 years of retail business experience and previously held leadership positions at JCPenney and Target.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds