SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan steps down
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SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan steps down

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SoulCycle chief executive Melanie Whelan has resigned from her role, capping off a challenging few months for the indoor cycling operator.

Whelan will vacate the role with immediate effect and will also step down as director of the company's board.

She will be replaced by chief financial officer Sunder Reddy, who has been named interim CEO.

In an emailed letter sent to Soul Cycle employees – widely reported in the US media – Whelan wrote: "I'm deeply grateful for the opportunity to have led our SoulCycle team and brand during a transformational time for this amazing community.

"Having started with SoulCycle when we had only seven studios and a huge dream – I couldn't be more proud of what this team has accomplished together.

"The magic of SoulCycle has always been in those dark studios. The love, the passion, the energy and the spirit of what we do is more important today than ever before. SoulCycle is a one-of-a-kind organization and I will be cheering on your continued growth and success."

Whelan's resignation comes just three months after SoulCycle and boutique studio operator equinox faced a fierce backlash over their owner's links to controversial US president Donald Trump.

In August, Stephen Ross, the head of Related Companies – which owns the two fitness brands – threw a US$100k-$250k-a-ticket fundraising event for Trump's re-election at his home in the Hamptons, NY.

It led to members of Equinox and SoulCycle taking to social media and expressing their outrage, with many stating their intention to cancel their membership of the high-end chains.

Both Equinox and SoulCycle have consistently focused their marketing and company culture on a liberal agenda.

Founded in 2006, SoulCycle currently operates nearly 100 studios in the US, Canada and the UK.

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