Mark Smith and the 24 Hour Fitness Board of Directors came to a mutual agreement for Smith to leave his role as CEO effective immediately. He had been appointed CEO in 2014 when Forstmann Little and Co. sold the company.
Frank Napolitano has been appointed as acting CEO of 24 Hour Fitness after the departure of Mark Smith. Napolitano joined the company in 2014 after its current owners purchased it from Forstmann Little and Co. (Photo courtesy 24 Hour Fitness.)
Mark Smith has left his position as CEO of 24 Hour Fitness, San Ramon, California, and Frank Napolitano, the current president, has assumed the role of acting CEO, according to an announcement from the company.
No reason was given for Smith's departure, but it was effective immediately and was a mutually agreed upon decision between Smith and the 24 Hour board of directors, according to the announcement released on Thursday.
“We are thankful for Mark’s contribution to the company over the past two and a half years,” Napolitano said in the announcement. “During Mark’s tenure, the company maintained a strong and consistent level of revenue and EBITDA. I look forward to working with the rest of the executive management team to keep driving results in the business and to grow our company.”
In 2014, 24 Hour Fitness was sold for an undisclosed sum by Forstmann Little and Co. to AEA Investors LP, Ontario Teacher’s Pension Fund and Fitness Capital Partners LLC. Smith came on board as CEO after the purchase. Prior to coming to 24 Hour, Smith served as a club manager at Town Sports International in the 1980s, moving up in the company until he landed in the chairman's role by the time he left in 2006. From 2007 to 2014, he served as CEO of City Fitness in New Zealand.
Napolitano, who worked with Smith at Town Sports when Napolitano was senior vice president for strategy there from 2000 to 2006, also joined 24 Hour after the sale. In the past, Napolitano founded Sports Club Management, and he served as CEO and executive chairman of GlobalFit, vice chairman of Fresh Fitness AS in Denmark, chairman and president of Club Realty Group, chairman of HealthFit Inc., chairman of Wexer, and chairman of Black Dog Partners LLC, according to his LinkedIn profile.
In December 2014, the first acquisition that Smith and Napolitano undertook was the purchase of 32 Bally Total Fitness clubs. In November 2015, 24 Hour did a club exchange with LA Fitness in which 24 Hour took over two LA Fitness clubs in Oklahoma and one in Nebraska while LA Fitness took over the 11 24 Hour Fitness clubs in Arizona. The companies declined at that time to share transaction details related to the exchange. In June 2016, 24 Hour Fitness essentially left the Midwest market when it sold 19 Midwest clubs (including the three involved in the LA Fitness club exchange) to Genesis Health Clubs, but that same year, it opened at least eight clubs in other areas of the country.
24 Hour Fitness ranked No. 2 on Club Industry's Top 100 Clubs list of 2016 with an estimated 2015 revenue of $1.418 billion. 24 Hour Fitness has more than 425 clubs in the United States and nearly 4 million members.