Melanie Whelan, 38
The former VP of business development at high-end gym chain Equinox took over as CEO of SoulCycle, the sizzling hot cult cycling chain, in June. (Equinox owns 97% of the company.) One month later, SoulCycle filed for an initial public offering, tasking Whelan—an avid cycler herself—with seeing the company through its impending IPO and navigating her ambitious expansion plan. The chain, which started nearly ten years ago as a single indoor cycling studio in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, now has 38 locations across the U.S. And its IPO filing revealed something rarer than a unicorn: The business is already profitable, bringing in $112 million in sales and $26.5 million in net income last year.
Soulcycle CEO: From buying aircraft engines for Richard Branson, to shaping the future of fitness
Melanie Whelan, the physical fitness phenomenon’s top executive, has had quite a career.