On Thursday, Michael Gregory bid adieu to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. The 27-year-old MMSA employee, son of CEO Rusty Gregory, now heads to southern California to take on the new position of Action Sports Brand Manager for Beats by Dre, the high quality headphone line from Beats Electronics.
Beats by Dre has a sponsorship with MMSA and at this year’s X-Games Michael found himself discussing the shortcomings of the company with one of its representatives.
“At this point they have only capitalized on mainstream sports, such as basketball,” explained the younger Gregory. “I brought up the idea of bringing the product to the action sports industry, such as skiing, moto and snowboarding.”
The idea struck a chord with the company and it decided that it did want to develop that type of program, but needed a person to head it up. Naturally, they recruited Michael.
“The decision to leave Mammoth has been difficult,” Michael explained. “It’s my hometown and I have ties and relationships here that I am going to miss.”
However, he is excited to differentiate himself not only from just being the “Mammoth guy,” but also from his dad.
“Even though we work well together, it’s always been a burden being the CEO’s son,” Michael said of the persona that has always automatically been attached to him. “It’s going to be nice to go back to a father/son relationship.”
Most recently Michael held the position of MMSA’s Director of Sponsorship, Athletes and Terrain Parks. When asked who will take over his duties, he explained the job would most likely be broken up into several different positions.
“The position really suited me as a person, not as a position,” he said. At this time, Terrain Parks Manager Sam Poffley will take over the terrain park segment of the job, while the sponsorship and athlete portions are “still up in the air” according to Michael.
Beats by Dre is located in Santa Monica, Calif., and Michael is anxious to “feel things out” in his new southern Cal location. His girlfriend, Deena Betcher, also a MMSA employee, expects to join him in SoCal sometime in April.
As for thoughts on whether or not he’ll ever return to live in Mammoth, Michael said it is currently “not a priority.”
“The thought goes through my mind,” he said, in regard to Mammoth as a possible place to raise a family.
“Mammoth is my home, but at this age I’m still only planning a few years out at a time,” he said.
(Photo: Peter Morning)