Planet Fitness’ board of directors ousted CEO Chris Rondeau, the national gym chain announced Friday, a move that sent the stock price down 15% to about $50 Friday morning, its lowest price since August 2020.
The company announced Craig R. Benson, a member of the board and the former governor of New Hampshire, will serve as interim CEO and that Rondeau will continue with the company in an advisory role and on the board.
The company did not provide any details as to why Rondeau is leaving so suddenly.
Rondeau had served as CEO since 2013.
Planet Fitness said it is conducting an internal and external search for Rondeau’s permanent successor.
By 1:30 p.m. ET, the stock had rebounded slightly to about $52, which still represents a 12% drop from close of market Thursday.
Rondeau’s first job position at Planet Fitness was at the front desk in the gym’s first location in Dover, New Hampshire, nearly 30 years ago, according to CNBC. He spent the years since working his way up through the ranks of the company.
Benson served as governor of New Hampshire, which is one of only two states that elects governors to two-year terms, from 2003 to 2005. Benson owns both a Planet Fitness and Dunkin Donuts franchise, according to a release from Planet Fitness. He’s been on Planet Fitness’ board for six years. He is also a co-founder of Cabletron Systems, a networking solutions company where he served, at various points, as chairman, CEO, COO and president.
Planet Fitness is one of the largest gym chains in the U.S. It has 18.4 million members and 2,472 locations across all 50 U.S. states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, Canada, Panama, Mexico and Australia, the company reported. Over 90% of the gyms are owned and operated by independent franchisees.