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Former Barstool CEO Pivots To World Of Food And Design.

Erika Ayers Badan, who announced she was stepping down as CEO of Barstool Sports in January, has revealed where she is heading. The food, home and lifestyle company Food52 says Badan will become its new chief executive.

“I knew I wanted to work in a space that was very different in terms of product, audience and business model,” Ayers Badan tells the New York Post. “I knew I wanted to work with women after a decade immersing myself in 18- to 34-year-old males.”

Ayers Badan was hired to lead Barstool in 2016. Before joining Barstool, she held several senior roles at media and technology organizations, including CMO for AOL, VP of Branding at Yahoo, and Senior Director of MSN Branded Experiences for Microsoft.

Ayers Badan describes her time at Barstool as “a heart attack every day for nine years.” But she also oversaw the company during a period of intense growth, peaking with the $500 million sale to Penn Entertainment in 2020. “A lot of times, in life and business, you hang on too long. I didn’t want to hang on too long,” she tells the Post. After Ayers Badan announced she was leaving Barstool in January, she was approached by several media, sports gambling and private equity firms, but Food52 was a welcome pivot. She had already been serving as an advisor to the company for the past few years.

“I am sure people will not like me because I came from Barstool,” Ayes Badan said. “I’m sure there will be a little bit of ‘What the f––k does she know?’ but that happened at Barstool too.”

In addition to a new job, Ayers Badan’s book “Nobody Cares About Your Career” is set to go on sale June 11. She says it will give advice “to motivate you and give you the tools you need to fall in love with your job.”

Barstool Sports, which has 101 active podcasts, has not yet named a successor for Ayers Badan. Founder Dave Portnoy bought back control of the company from gaming company Penn Entertainment in August, and said that he planned to take a greater role in the company’s day-to-day management.

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