Beth Kaplan steps down at GNC

Fortunato to reassume role of president

PITTSBURGH — General Nutrition Centers announced that its president and chief merchandising officer has resigned.

Beth Kaplan, who served in the role for 3.5 years, is leaving the company to pursue personal interests. As a member of the senior management team, Kaplan helped the company prepare for its recent initial public offering.

The role of president will be reassumed by GNC CEO Joe Fortunato.

"Since Beth arrived at GNC, GNC has developed a world-class management team, particularly in marketing and product development, which is much stronger today than it was when she first arrived," Fortunato said. "We are confident this management team will continue to drive the business without interruption. We are thankful to Beth for her contribution, and wish her well in her future endeavors."

In related news, GNC appointed Amy Lane to serve as a member of its board of directors, replacing Kaplan. Lane, who serves as director for off-price home and fashion apparel conglomerate TJX Cos., also will serve on the board's audit committee, replacing Norman Axelrod. Axelrod, however, will remain on the board.

"We believe Amy will bring great value to the GNC board," Fortunato said. "She understands the challenges and opportunities of specialty retailing; at the same time, her experience as an investment banker in financing companies and helping senior management implement their growth strategies will be an important resource as we move forward."

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