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GNC Picks Rite Aid Chief To Fill CEO Slot

GNC Ken Martindale GNCHoldings has selected Ken Martindale as its new CEO, succeeding interim CEO Bob Moran. The GNC board selected Moran as its non-executive chairman, and he will work with Martindale to ensure a smooth transition. Michael Hines will step down as Chairman but will remain on the board. These changes are effective Sept. 11, 2017.

Martindale has been with Rite Aid since 2008 in positions of increasing responsibility. In 2013 he was promoted to President and COO and he took on the CEO title in August 2015. Prior to joining Rite Aid he was Co-President, Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer for Pathmark Stores.

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GNC has struggled in recent years as vitamins and supplements became more widely available in other retail outlets and via online sales. For Q2 2017, same store sales decreased 0.9% in domestic company-owned stores and 1.1% in domestic franchise locations. The retailer’s net income took a drastic dive, dropping from $64 million in Q2 2016 to $15.7 million for the same period this year.

The retailer had undertaken a major rebranding at the end of 2016, closing all 4,400 stores for a day and creating a single-tier pricing strategy for both store and online sales. GNC also revamped its loyalty programs, launching a free program called myGNC Rewards and a paid program, PRO Access. In its Q2 financial results, GNC reported 7.3 million myGNC Rewards members and approximately 237,000 PRO Access members.

GNC is hoping Martindale will be able to find a healthy lifestyle for the retailer. “Ken is a proven leader with deep retail expertise, intimate knowledge of our business through his years of leadership with our partner, Rite Aid, and a record of success in transforming retail business models,” said Hines in a statement.

“I have a deep admiration for GNC, the tremendous brand they’ve built and, in particular, the successful work they’re doing to fundamentally transform the business model,” said Martindale.

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