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Adam Zeitsiff Photo courtesy Gold's Gym International.
Adam Zeitsiff is returning to Gold's Gym International, this time as CEO.

TRT Holdings Calls Off Sale of Gold’s Gym, Names Adam Zeitsiff as New CEO

After exploring a sale of Gold’s Gym, TRT Holdings has decided to instead reinvest in the company and has brought back its former CIO to lead its planned growth.

TRT Holdings, Dallas, has decided to retain ownership of Gold’s Gym International and reinvest in the brand. As part of that reinvestment, the company is bringing back its former chief information officer, Adam Zeitsiff, as its new president and CEO, effective immediately, according to an announcement from Gold’s Gym released early to Club Industry.

In July 2018, TRT Holdings, which has been the majority shareholder of Gold’s Gym since 2004, announced that it was exploring a possible sale of the company. TRT is a diversified private holding company that also owns Omni Hotels & Resorts among other public and private investments.

"As we worked through the exploratory process of selling the brand, we continued to see growth opportunities for Gold’s Gym in a number of areas within the fitness industry," TRT Holdings President Blake Rowling said in the release. “After carefully considering our options, we felt that we would be leaving too much value on the table by selling the company today.”

In first quarter 2018, Gold’s Gym opened 12 clubs internationally and domestically. The company had said that in 2018, it planned to open 25 U.S. clubs in "hot" markets including Atlanta, Minneapolis and Tampa.

Later in 2018, Gold’s Gym reported that it had its best quarter for franchise development in company history during the third quarter. During that quarter, it opened nine international clubs, renewed master franchise agreements for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and signed a master franchise agreement to enter Turkey. It also had one domestic grand opening and signed franchise agreements for multiple locations across three states.

In this context, Zeitsiff returns to helm the company. He served as CIO at Gold’s Gym from February 2016 to April 2018 when he became CIO at Smoothie King, Dallas. Prior to his first tenure at Gold’s Gym, Zeitsiff had been CSO and general manager at H2 Wellness, Los Angeles, from September 2015 to February 2016 and president of Jonas Fitness, Webster, Texas, from October 2009 to August 2015.

During his original tenure at Gold’s Gym, Zeitsiff helped the company launch its personal training app, Gold’s AMP, which offers coach-led, music-driven indoor and outdoor cardio, bodyweight and stretching workouts for members and non-members.

“Adam’s entrepreneurial background, hands-on leadership style, passion for the fitness industry and proven ability to execute on accelerated growth plans make him the perfect fit to lead the brand’s evolution going forward,” Rowling said.

Zeitsiff will continue to focus the company on digital innovation, franchising and growth, according to the release.

 “I am passionate about our iconic brand and about leading this team of talented, committed and caring people,” Zeitsiff said.  “We have a strong vision for the future of this company and will be laser-focused on partnering with our global franchise community to continue to grow the brand and expand our worldwide prominence in the fitness industry.”

Zeitsiff replaces Bean, who was named CEO of Gold’s Gym in January 2016. Bean had previously served as CFO for TRT Holdings, which he joined in 2007. He was named chairman of Gold’s Gym in 2013 before being moved into the CEO role. No reason was given for Bean’s departure.

“We are grateful for everything that Brandon has done for Gold’s Gym and the TRT organization over the last 12 years,” Rowling said. “He has been instrumental in many areas of our business and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Gold’s Gym has had seven CEOs in the past 13 years. Prior to Bean, Gold’s Gym was led by Aaron Watkins, who was named president in November 2013 after serving as COO. Watkins replaced Jim Snow, who was CEO from 2009 to 2013. He took on the role after James Weaver, who was hired in 2008 left. Weaver was tapped as CEO after David Schnabel left in November 2008, two years after being hired. Schnabel had replaced Gene LaMott, who resigned in 2006.

Gold's Gym was founded in 1965. Today, it has more than 700 locations on six continents, according to the company.

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