Planet Fitness, Inc. said its Board of Directors decided to transition to new leadership, resulting in Chris Rondeau’s departure as company CEO. Craig R. Benson, a Board member, was appointed interim CEO, effective immediately.

Rondeau had been with Planet Fitness for over 20 years and was the CEO of Planet Fitness since 2012. Rondeau will continue serving as a Board member and nominated for re-election at the company’s 2024 Annual Meeting. In addition, Rondeau will continue to serve the company in an advisory role under his agreement with the company to ensure a smooth transition.

In connection with this transition, the Board has engaged an executive search firm to assist in the search for Rondeau’s replacement. The company is considering internal and external candidates for the CEO role.

“As we enter the next chapter of Planet Fitness’ journey, the Board felt that now was the right time to transition leadership,” said Stephen Spinelli, Jr., Ph.D., Chairman of the Board. “In today’s evolving environment, Planet Fitness is continuing to enhance our competitive advantage, capitalize on our size and scale, and drive further shareholder value. As a Board member and Planet Fitness franchisee, Craig knows our business well while also bringing deep public and private sector executive leadership experience to this role. The Board is confident that he is the ideal leader to oversee the business during this transition period. The Board remains committed to overseeing the execution of the company’s strategy as we begin our search for Planet Fitness’ next permanent leader and solidify our position as a differentiated and disruptive force in the health and wellness space for years to come.”

“Planet Fitness is a truly unique brand with a strong track record of growth and opportunity to drive long-term value creation,” said Benson. “Having served on the company’s Board for six years and as a Planet Fitness franchise owner, I am deeply familiar with the business. Planet Fitness has a solid foundation in place, with further runway for growth by strengthening our branded messaging, ensuring we continue to allocate capital with discipline and focus on the highest return opportunities, including both domestically and internationally, and supporting our franchisees who are key partners in our efforts to drive shareholder value. I am ready to hit the ground running and look forward to working alongside the management team and employees to ensure a seamless transition for all of our stakeholders.”

Spinelli concluded, “On behalf of the Board, I’d like to thank Chris for his 30 years of service to Planet Fitness. During the course of his decade-long tenure as CEO, Chris has played a critical role in accelerating our differentiated high-value, low-price (HVLP) model to significantly grow our membership over five and a half times to 18.4 million and footprint by four times to more than 2,400 stores, while cultivating our culture of judgment-free fitness to improve the lives of millions of members. We appreciate his continued support to help ensure a smooth transition.”

“My 30-year career at Planet Fitness has been an incredible ride, and it’s been an honor to lead this company and serve our employees, franchisees and members, all of whom have played a key role in our tremendous growth and success,” said Rondeau. “I am grateful for and look forward to supporting the management team in an advisory capacity, and I have confidence in the long-term potential of Planet Fitness.”

The management change “does not result from any material or unexpected financial events.”

Photo courtesy Planet Fitness/Chris Rondeau