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On Nov. 18, endurance sports nutrition company GU Energy Labs announced the promotion of vice president Magdalena Boulet to company president, marking a significant milestone for the former Olympic runner and a transformation of the brand’s leadership.
“The pandemic brought on a critical point in GU’s existence,” Boulet said. “During this time, [co-founder and CEO] Brian Vaughan and I were able to take a moment and realize the opportunity we have ahead of us.”
Vaughan will remain CEO and lead in tandem with Boulet. While Vaughan will focus on more long-term company planning, Boulet will oversee day-to-day operations and forge new paths for “bringing the business and culture together.”
“I’d like to build on the wonderful and beautiful culture we have at GU,” Boulet said. “It became evident during the pandemic how important that leadership is and the value of taking care of the people in our company.”
Boulet, 48, got her first job with GU in 1999. At that time, she was seeking advice for fueling her post-college running nutrition goals. She began in the company’s research department, eventually working her way up to lead research assistant, collaborating with GU co-founder Dr. Bill Vaughan, Brian’s father.
In 2007, Boulet left GU to pursue a professional running career, which included earning a spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Team and multiple World Cross Country Championship team medals. In 2013, she returned to the company as vice president, leading several departments including Research & Development and Innovation.
In Boulet’s new role, an additional piece of that innovation will come in shaping GU’s company culture. The Poland native sees expanding inclusivity as one of her main goals. Specifically, she wants to invite more people into the brand’s fan base and serve communities outside of traditional endurance sports.
“What we’ve learned in the last two years is that we need to work towards creating a space where people feel seen and belong, and are working towards a common goal,” she said. “We’ve taken those values for granted. It’s something I really want to lean into, and it’s a big focus for GU.”
Boulet added that her career—both in and out of professional competition—has grown alongside GU. Her dual-focused approach uniquely positioned her to rise through the ranks and into this leadership role.
“I don’t see athletics or business as that different,” she said. “Along the way, you learn what works and what doesn’t. What brings me meaning is devoting myself to this craft, and what I take away from it is that it’s not about the finish line, but about the process to get there. In athletics, it’s the journey that makes the experience meaningful. In business, it’s the same way.”