NYRR Layoffs – Leadership Changes, Mass Layoffs Continue at NYRR


New York Road Runners (NYRR) made another round of large-scale staff cuts following the cancellation of almost a year’s worth of road races amid the pandemic.

Additionally, NYRR announced to its employees on January 8 that Jim Heim, race director of the New York City Marathon who has been with NYRR the past 13 years, and Chris Weiller, senior vice president of media, public relations, and professional athletics who joined the nonprofit in 2013, will be leaving the organization.

Those departures come on the heels of the news that this week 87 full- and part-time staff who had been furloughed in July 2020 would be permanently laid off, an NYRR spokesperson confirmed to Runner’s World.

The organization’s staff of 229 has been cut nearly in half since July. Some furloughed employees had held out hope that they would be brought back, but the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in New York is slowing the return of events.

The 2021 NYC Half, a multi-borough half marathon with thousands of competitors every March, was canceled for the second year in a row on December 2.

Meanwhile, the departures of Heim and Weiller are the most recent of several leadership changes in the wake of allegations of mistreatment of employees of color and women that became public last September.

After the allegations surfaced, NYRR’s board of directors hired a law firm, Proskauer Rose, to conduct an investigation into the workplace culture at NYRR. CEO Michael Capiraso’s departure from NYRR was announced on November 30, and Kerin Hempel was named the interim CEO.

Today’s staff shakeup makes it six leadership-level employees who have left the nonprofit since the end of November, according to internal emails and conversations with current staffers.

In addition to Capiraso, Heim, and Weiller, Michael Rodgers, who was the vice president of youth and community runner engagement, left for a job with the Nature Conservancy. Bari Greenfield, the vice president of strategy, planning, and organization operations, is still listed on the company website but is leaving to pursue other opportunities. Michael Schnall, the vice president of government relations & community investment, was furloughed in July and is among those not being brought back.

Staging the New York City Marathon, the world’s largest 26.2 with more than 50,000 runners every year, is a high-wire act that includes several waves of runners starting on both levels of the Verrazano Bridge in Staten Island. That job now falls to Ted Metellus, who has been named race director of the five-borough event.

Trina Singian will oversee PR, broadcast, and pro athletes.

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