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Pure Barre’s CEO Out, Seeks Next Fleet to Command


Christina Russell was CEO of Pure Barre since last April.

Christina Russell, CEO of Pure Barre since last April, is out and looking for new opportunities following the acquisition of the boutique fitness concept by Xponential Fitness. 

“They have a central founder/CEO, and there really isn’t room for a second CEO, so I’m passing the baton. It’s been a great experience working with L Catterton toward a successful exit, and it’s been a positive experience overall,” she wrote to business colleagues and friends this week. L Catterton is a private equity firm that has made more than 200 investments in consumer brands.

Russell is a warm and dynamic executive who has worked with Curves as a franchisee and then a trainer in its early days; as the first outside CEO at Camp Bow Wow after its founder sold to a strategic investor; and then Pure Barre, which she took over after plenty of turmoil at the once high-flying brand.

 She was the subject of “The Boss” column in November/December in Franchise Times, and one of the most delightful interviews I’ve had since launching the column last January. (Note to sources—there is no connection between talking to FT and having one’s CEO position eliminated.)

“If you can put yourself out there to really hear the hard facts, you’re going to put the strategies in place that work,” she told readers. 

She said she doesn’t avoid conflict but rather leans into it. How did she learn this? “Six years of therapy! One of the things I learned in therapy, pretend you’re an anthropologist. Then it’s not your fault. You’re just observing it and understanding it,” she said. “In many companies there’s a Captain Kirk there somewhere but I’m Spock. I don’t get mired in that drama,” she said. 

After a brief sabbatical, she will be back in the game, she said, looking for leadership, board or other opportunities.


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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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