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Gold's, The Rush Make Executive Announcements

Gold’s Gym International, Irving, TX, and The Rush Fitness Complex, Knoxville, TN, announced a hiring and promotions to their respective executive teams today.

Gold’s named Michael Cobb as its new chief marketing officer. Cobb replaces Lisa Zoellner, who parted ways with the company in April, according to Dave Reiseman, vice president of communications for Gold’s.

In a separate announcement, The Rush promoted Steve Saxton from president to CEO and David Carney from COO to president and COO. Larry Gurney, founder and current chief executive, will retain his position as chairman of the board. Gurney hired Saxton and Carney in July.

“Our objective was to create a leadership team that would take our company to the next level of growth and allow me to take a less active role in the day-to-day operations,” Gurney said in a statement. “Our decision to elevate them so soon is a testament to their ability to fit in with our team and adapt to the unique culture that defines The Rush.”

In addition to leading Gold’s marketing efforts, Cobb will be responsible for corporate wellness and business development. Cobb has 10 years of senior experience with national brands such as KFC, Pepsi, Frito-Lay and Pizza Hut. Most recently, Cobb served as president of Inspirus, where he led the repositioning of the 100-year-old company into a SaaS-based workforce recognition solutions provider that doubled its revenue in five years.

“Michael is a proven brand builder, with a consistent track record of success with growing national consumer brands,” Jim Snow, president of Gold’s Gym, said in a statement. “We are pleased to have him join the Gold’s Gym management team, and we look forward to his guidance as we continue to evolve and grow the Gold’s Gym brand.”

The Rush has 23 clubs, primarily in Tennessee, with others in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The company is No. 22 this year on Club Industry’s Top 100 Clubs list with a reported $48 million in 2011 revenue. That growth is a big jump compared to five years ago, when The Rush had 13 clubs and generated $25.7 million in revenue.

“I am deeply honored to follow Larry Gurney’s inspired leadership of The Rush and to serve this great organization as its next chief executive officer,” Saxton said in a statement. “The Rush has built an unparalleled reputation for serving its members with care and excellence and providing a fun, exciting and motivating club environment. I am thrilled by the opportunity to continue to build out the concept into new geographies and to maintain the reputation for top quality service that has been the hallmark of The Rush.”

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