GNC taps former PetSmart head as interim CEO; suspends guidance


GNC Holdings on Thursday replaced its chief executive and suspended its earnings guidance. It also reported disappointing second quarter results. 


The company has appointed former PetSmart chief executive Robert F. Moran as interim CEO, effective immediately. Moran, a director of GNC, replaces Michael G. Archbold, who has also resigned from the GNC board.


No immediate reason was given for Archbold’s departure. But the chain has been going through a rocky patch during the past 12 months. In June, GNC said it was reviewing all options, including a potential sale of the company. For its second quarter, GNC posted a 3.7% decline in same-store sales in U.S. company-owned stores and a 6.6% decline at franchise locations. 


Moran, 65, joined the GNC board in July 2013. He most recently served as chairman and CEO of PetSmart until June 2013. Prior to being appointed chairman in January 2012, Moran served as PetSmart's CEO since June 2009 and its president and COO from December 2001 to June 2009. 


In announcing the change at the top, GNC said that its previously announced strategic review process remains ongoing.


"As we continue the strategic review process and move with urgency to improve performance, the board believes it is the right time to undertake this change to drive effective execution of our plans," said Michael F. Hines, GNC's chairman. "During Bob's (Moran) four decades as a successful retail executive he demonstrated a proven ability to lead organizations in highly competitive environments and deliver profitable growth and shareholder value.”


Prior to joining PetSmart in 1999, Moran was president of Toys "R" Us Canada. He also served in various executive positions across finance and merchandising with Sears, Roebuck & Company, including serving as president and CEO of Sears de Mexico. 


Moran called GNC’s second quarter results disappointing and said the company is focused on “addressing those areas where we can drive a meaningful impact on the business in the shortest period of time. “

“We clearly have work to do to reverse the current trends, but I am confident in our business and the GNC brand and I am committed to working closely with our talented team to deliver improved performance,” he said, 


As of June 30, 2016, GNC had 3,506 corporate stores in the U.S. and Canada, 1,163 domestic franchise locations, 2,343 Rite Aid franchise store-within-a-store locations and 2,075 international stores. The company has a total of 9,087 store locations worldwide.

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