Planet Fitness CEO Chris Rondeau leaves

  • After almost 11 years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Rondeau
  • Craig Benson taking over temporarily
  • Search for a successor
  • Rondeau said 67 words

(exechange) — Hampton, New Hampshire, September 15, 2023 — Chris Rondeau, chief executive of Planet Fitness, leaves his position. As announced by Planet Fitness Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Friday, September 15, 2023, Christopher (Chris) Rondeau leaves his post as chief executive officer at the gym operator, after almost 11 years in the role, effective immediately.

Generally speaking, it raises questions when a CEO leaves his post abruptly.

Planet Fitness will undertake a search for a successor.

Chris Rondeau’s duties as CEO will be taken over temporarily by Craig R. Benson, most recently Chief Executive Officer at Soft Draw Investments, LLC, as Interim Chief Executive Officer.

Already a director

Benson has already been a member of the board of directors of Planet Fitness. Generally speaking, most director-turned-CEO appointments occur following a sudden resignation of the outgoing CEO and signal a lack of preparedness on the company’s part to groom internal talent. Directors-turned-executives represent a blend of outsider and insider.

They don’t have the constraints of a pure insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions, and they have more company knowledge than a pure outsider.

Having been a director, Benson understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of Planet Fitness’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

“The right time”

The management change is explained as follows. Stephen Spinelli, Jr. (Ph.D.), Chairman of the Board, stated: “As we enter the next chapter of Planet Fitness’ journey, the Board felt that now was the right time to transition leadership.”

Precise information regarding Chris Rondeau’s future plans was not immediately available.


Planet Fitness said: “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.”

“Not the result of any material or unexpected financial events”

Planet Fitness stated, regarding the change: “The management change is not the result of any material or unexpected financial events.”

Share price decline since September 2021

The announcement follows a decline in Planet Fitness Inc.’s share price of 25% since September 2021.

In the position of CEO since 2013

Chris Rondeau became CEO of the Company in 2013.

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. 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.

Christopher Rondeau has served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer since January 2013.

Rondeau previously served as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer since 2003.

Rondeau joined Planet Fitness in 1993, one year after the Company’s original founders, Michael and Marc Grondahl, started the Company in 1992.

Throughout the years, he has played a critical role in developing and refining the unique, low-cost/high-value business model and lean operating system that revolutionized both the fitness and franchising industry.

Under his leadership, Planet Fitness has experienced tremendous growth and has been recognized for many accolades including, Entrepreneur Franchise 500 – Fastest Growing Franchise List, Franchise Times’ Top 200, Forbes’ America’s Best Franchises, Newsweek Best Customer Service, and Best Places to Work in New Hampshire.

An innovative entrepreneur, Rondeau was honored as an EY Entrepreneur of the Year and inducted into the University of New Hampshire Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.

Rondeau also received an honorary doctorate degree from Philadelphia University and received the University’s honorary innovation medal.

In 2020, he joined the International Franchise Association (IFA) Board of Directors; board members are drawn from a world-class set of franchise brands.

67 words by Chris Rondeau

In the release announcing his departure as CEO of Planet Fitness Inc., Chris Rondeau received praise and thanks.

In announcing his departure, Chris Rondeau said 67 words.

“Incredible ride”

Chris Rondeau stated: “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. I am grateful for and look forward to supporting the management team in an advisory capacity, and have confidence in the long-term potential of Planet Fitness.”

Push-out Score for Chris Rondeau’s move determined

The Push-out Score indicates on a scale of 0 to 10 how likely it is that Chris Rondeau was pushed out or felt pressure to leave his position.

exechange reached out to Planet Fitness and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 38.2023 ($).