Peter Taunton steps down Photo courtesy Lift Brands.
Neither Peter Taunton (left) nor Lift Brands publicly disclosed why the company founder and CEO recently stepped down from his longtime roles. Taunton has been replaced by Tom Welter (right), Lift Brands' chief operating officer.

Peter Taunton Steps Down as CEO of Lift Brands, Snap Fitness

Peter Taunton, who founded Snap Fitness and parent entity Lift Brands, has moved into an advisory position. Tom Welter, who is Lift Brands' chief operating officer, will temporarily replace Taunton as CEO while the company conducts a search for a permanent CEO.

Peter Taunton, the CEO of Snap Fitness and its parent entity Lift Brands, stepped down from his longtime roles on Jan. 1, 2019, according to a recent media release. He has been temporarily replaced as CEO by Tom Welter, Lift Brands' chief operating officer, while the company conducts a search for a permanent CEO.

Taunton, who founded Minnesota-based Snap Fitness in 2003 and Lift Brands in 2014, has transitioned to the advisory position of non-executive chairman of Lift Brands' board of directors. Neither Taunton nor the company publicly disclosed why the change occurred.

"My personal journey has been a remarkable and gratifying one,” Taunton said in the release. “I’m extremely proud of the company’s growth and the talented leadership team. Building and handing off a company to capable hands is the dream of every entrepreneur. The future for Lift Brands is incredibly bright.”

In addition to Snap Fitness, Lift Brands is the owner of 9Round International, YogaFit Studios, Steele Fitness and Fitness on Demand. Its total portfolio includes more than 2,000 locations across 27 countries.

“We thank Peter for his leadership and dedication to Lift Brands, which has spanned more than 30 years,” Welter said in the release. “Peter has distinguished himself in the global fitness arena by licensing multiple brands, innovating in the health and wellness space and focusing on relationships with our global franchise community.”

Lift Brands' health clubs are expected to largely focus on HIIT and functional training in 2019, according to the release.

In other news, the company recently co-developed a signature club, TRUMAV Fitness, with country music star Tim McGraw. Its first location is slated to open in Nashville this month.

Lift Brands ranked No. 22 on Club Industry's Top 100 Health Clubs of 2018 list, reporting $76.60 million in 2017 revenue.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article stated that Lift Brands owned YogaFit. YogaFit Studios is presently a subsidiary of Lift Brands, while YogaFit Training Systems remains independently operated. You can read more on the history behind this distinction here.

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