PITTSBURGH, Aug. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- GNC Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GNC) (the "Company"), a leading global specialty retailer of health and wellness products, today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed senior retail industry executive Michael G. Archbold, 53, as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board, effective immediately. The Board also announced that Joseph Fortunato, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, is leaving the Company and has stepped down from the GNC Board. Lead Independent Director, Michael Hines, has been elected Non-Executive Chairman of the GNC Board.
Mr. Archbold has over 25 years of retail industry experience. He most recently served as CEO and CFO of The Talbots Inc., a leading retailer of women's apparel, where he successfully implemented a comprehensive strategy to enhance the customer experience resulting in significant improvement in the company's financial results. Prior to joining Talbots, he served in a variety of senior roles, including President and Chief Operating Officer of nutritional product retailer Vitamin Shoppe, Inc. where he had oversight of key customer initiatives, driving revenue growth and profitability. Mr. Archbold previously held senior leadership positions, including serving as chief financial officer, at Saks Fifth Avenue and AutoZone Inc. Mike Hines, Chairman of GNC, said, "The Board is committed to delivering improved financial results and creating value for GNC shareholders and we are pleased that Mike has agreed to join GNC. He is a world-class executive with highly relevant retail experience and financial expertise, proven leadership skills and a track record of developing strong corporate cultures and delivering superior financial performance. We have tremendous confidence in GNC's prospects and in Mike's ability to lead the Company going forward." Mr. Hines continued, " Joe Fortunato led GNC through a period of considerable growth, innovation and transformation. We thank him for his significant contributions to the Company and we wish him well in the future." Mr. Archbold commented, "GNC is an admired industry leader with an iconic brand, strong positions in its core markets, differentiated products, a history of innovation and a loyal customer base. I am honored to lead this organization, and I look forward to working closely with the team across GNC and the Board to further strengthen the Company's market position and deliver improved financial performance."