Sarah Robb O’Hagan, President of Equinox
On Air: 10/21/2014
Sarah Robb O’Hagan joined Equinox in September 2012 as President of the world’s premier fitness lifestyle company, comprising the Equinox, Soul Cycle, Blink Fitness and Pure Yoga brands. Under her leadership Equinox is undertaking an aggressive expansion strategy to grow its family of brands around the world and into additional lines of business, leveraging new digital technologies.
Prior to joining Equinox, Robb O’Hagan served as Global President of one of the world’s most iconic sports brands, Gatorade. Under Sarah’s leadership, Gatorade embarked on a transformational journey from sports drink company, to sports performance innovator led by the launch of the G Series.
Robb O’Hagan joined Gatorade after nearly six years at Nike where she held marketing and general management roles. She was a member of the team that launched Nike Plus in collaboration with Apple. Prior to Nike she worked at Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Megastores and Air New Zealand.
Beyond the interests of Equinox, Robb O’Hagan supports the advancement of women’s leadership worldwide and has a particular interest in helping underserved girls get access to sports. She has served on Hillary Clinton’s US State Department Council to Empower Women and Girls through Sports, and is also a trustee of the Women’s Sports Foundation.
Throughout her career Robb O’Hagan has been recognized for some of her achievements. Her most recent honors include being named one of the “Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company magazine (2012), being named to the top 40 Under 40 lists by the Sports Business Journal (2009, 2011 and 2012) being named among Forbes Magazine’s “Most Powerful Women in Sports” (2009) and Ad Age magazine’s Women to Watch (2010).
On Innovation Navigation, Sarah spoke at length about her time at Gatorade, and her project in taking a company struggling in the Great Recession to new heights by refocusing the product line and changing the way the firm advertised. Her most important lesson for the audience was on having the courage to know who your true customers are and not being afraid to not sell to those who aren’t. A firm must have the courage to abandon people who may be customers today, but aren’t going to drive the health and future of the company going forward.