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Hydrow Hires Former WWE, Electronic Arts Exec Craig Tello as CXO

Hydrow Hires Former WWE, Electronic Arts Exec Craig Tello as CXO

The at-home fitness company has also promoted Diana Cino to CMO as it looks to bring connected rowing to the world

Hydrow, an immersive at-home connected fitness rowing brand, has made two C-suite appointments to accelerate its growth, naming Craig Tello as chief experience officer and elevating Diana Cino to chief marketing officer. 

Tello, a New York Times best-selling author and executive board member of Future Now Media Foundation, Inc., comes to Hydrow from Electronic Arts, where he was head of content strategy. Before that, Tello was senior vice president of content programming and media operations at WWE, leading the wrestling brand’s subscription video platform.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the team at this pivotal moment in the connected fitness industry to continue connecting people through an enhanced immersive and empowering experience,” Tello said, adding that he’s impressed by Hydrow’s unique approach to indoor rowing

Founded in 2017, Hydrow offers a full-body workout that promises to exercise 86% of major muscle groups in a twenty-minute session led by Olympians and athletes. Users have over 4,000 rowing, strength, yoga, and circuit training workouts to select from, all of which are filmed in outdoor settings.

“They’re blending technical innovation with compelling storytelling right on real waterways all around the world, whether it’s the scenic Charles River in Boston or the lakes in the shadow of Japan’s iconic Mt. Fuji,” Tello told Athletech News, referencing Hydrow’s workout content.

credit: Hydrow

Tello, who has vast experience in content, programming and distribution, says he’s aware that the fanbase is at the heart of a company’s success and plans to tap into storytelling to expand Hydrow’s footprint. 

“My goal is to foster and widen Hydrow’s strong sense of community through key discovery platforms, leveraging the incredible talent and individuality of our Hydrow Athletes, who will serve our customers as coaches, ambassadors and storytellers,” he told ATN. “In this next phase of growth, we will expand our reach across all modern content touchpoints.”

Connected Fitness Crossroads

While Hydrow leans into connected fitness hardware through its unique rowing experience, other competitors in the space, such as Peloton and Lululemon Studio, have abandoned or significantly reduced their dependence on equipment

Hydrow soared to a reported valuation of over $1 billion in June 2021 amid the at-home fitness boom, but things have cooled off for the connected rowing company since then.

Bruce Smith, CEO and founder of Hydrow, indicated that selecting Tello means the at-home rowing brand is poised to enter its next chapter. 

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“Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that an executive from the WWE would want to bring their talents to rowing, but in Craig Tello we are fortunate to add his blend of innovation, entertainment and fan engagement to our mission of opening up the world to the rowing experience,” said the former U.S. National team coach and Hydrow founder.

credit: Hydrow

Hydrow Makes Another C-Suite Hire

Joining Tello in advancing Hydrow’s mission is Diana Cino, who will now take over as the connected rowing company’s chief marketing officer. Cino will execute strategies to attract, convert and retain Hydrow customers while expanding the brand. 

Earlier this year, Cino was named Hydrow’s senior vice president of marketing and sales, credited for helping the connected fitness company earn year-over-year growth and reduce customer acquisition costs. 

“It’s been an exciting year, as we’ve been rebuilding the marketing funnel from the bottom up – and seeing real success by leaning into educating consumers about the benefits of rowing,” Cino said. “In my new role, I look forward to bringing Hydrow to new audiences and amplifying the meaningful physical and mental benefits that the Hydrow experience provides, all while supporting our existing, loyal customer base.”

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