Co-Founder is Named Chairman of Planet Fitness

Ex-CFO Marc Grondahl, an architect of low-price model, to lead board

Aug 12, 2010, 14:49 ET from Planet Fitness

NEWINGTON, N.H., Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Marc Grondahl, who co-founded Planet Fitness and helped fuel its growth from a small New Hampshire gym to one of the fastest-growing franchises in the country, has been named chairman of the company's board of directors.

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Grondahl, 44, had been Planet Fitness' chief financial officer until April, when Jayne Conway, a former Dunkin' Brands and Gulf Oil LP executive, was named to the post.

"Marc's tremendous vision has always been a key to our growth, and we want to retain that for the long term," his brother, Michael Grondahl, the company's CEO, said in a statement. "His financial expertise and steady hand guided us through the challenges of our early days, and he laid the groundwork and helped establish the culture that's put us where we are now."

Marc Grondahl was working as a cost accountant for a manufacturing firm in 1992 when he and his older brother launched Planet Fitness in Dover, N.H. Today the company is on track to become the largest health club operator in the United States.

Known for its relaxed Judgement Free Zone® atmosphere and friendly prices, Planet Fitness boasts 2.3 million members nationwide and is ranked by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest-growing private businesses in America.    

Planet Fitness consisted of four gyms in New Hampshire when it began franchising in 2003. Today the company has a national footprint – 350 locations in 36 states, more than 1,000 units sold across the U.S. and in Puerto Rico, and an ad campaign heard and seen nationally on the "Imus in the Morning" radio show and on Fox Business Channel. In the $19 billion North American fitness industry, Planet Fitness has opened eyes by turning an extremely low-price model – memberships are just $10 a month – into the segment's most profitable concept.

"I think Planet Fitness is in a great position right now," Marc Grondahl said. "We have the management, infrastructure, and of course the business model to become the leader in the industry. I look forward to helping it continue to grow."   

Added Conway, "Marc maintaining such an important leadership position is absolutely critical to the next stage of the company's growth."  

SOURCE Planet Fitness