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Planet Fitness unexpectedly ousts CEO Chris Rondeau

UPI
Planet Fitness CEO Chris Rondeau was unexpectedly ousted Friday, leading to a 16% drop in stock value during the day's trading. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Planet Fitness CEO Chris Rondeau was unexpectedly booted from his position Friday, leading to a 16% drop in stock value during the day's trading.

Rondeau first took on the role of CEO in 2013.

"Craig R. Benson, a member of the company's board of directors, has been appointed interim chief executive officer, effective immediately. Benson's appointment follows the decision by the board to transition to new leadership, resulting in Chris Rondeau's departure as the company's CEO. Rondeau will continue to serve as a member of the company's board of directors and will be nominated for re-election at the company's 2024 annual meeting," Planet Fitness said in a press release Friday.

"Rondeau will continue to serve the company in an advisory role as contemplated under his existing agreements with the company to help ensure a smooth transition," Planet Fitness said.

"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," said Planet Fitness' board chairperson Stephen Spinelli Jr.

The ouster is surprising because Planet Fitness saw better than expected performance during the last business quarter.

"I am grateful for and look froward to supporting the management team in an advisory capacity and have confidence in the long-term potential of Planet Fitness," Rondeau said in a statement.

Planet Fitness says its board "is engaging a leading executive search firm to assist in a comprehensive search process to identify a permeant CEO."