The Vitamin Shoppe Makes Lee Wright its New CEO
The appointment of Wright comes as The Vitamin Shoppe plans to chart a new course as a private company
The Vitamin Shoppe named Lee Wright its new CEO and Muriel Gonzalez its new president, a pair of appointments that come after the wellness brand’s parent company, Franchise Group, announced its intentions to go private through a $2.6 billion management buyout.
Wright had been serving as interim CEO of The Vitamin Shoppe since January, when then-CEO Sharon Leite stepped down. Before taking over for Leite, Wright was chief commercial officer of Franchise Group, a position he took in January 2022.
“I’m thrilled to join the talented team of health enthusiasts at The Vitamin Shoppe, supporting millions of customers every year on their journeys of lifelong wellness,” Wright said of his new role as CEO. “I look forward to building on our growth strategy, including expanding through franchising, further developing our robust portfolio of private brands and deepening relationships with our most productive partners.”
Gonzalez, The Vitamin Shoppe’s new president, had served as the company’s executive vice president and chief merchandising and marketing officer since August 2020. Before joining The Vitamin Shoppe, Gonzalez held senior merchandising roles at Macy’s from 2006 to 2017, which included oversight of the Bluemercury brand.
New beginnings, plans for expansion
The appointments of Wright and Gonzalez come as The Vitamin Shoppe plans to chart a new course as a private company. Earlier this month, Franchise Group announced that its CEO Brian Kahn and other senior management team members would be taking the company private in a $2.6 billion management buyout. The proposed merger is expected to close in the second half of 2023.
The Vitamin Shoppe is Franchise Group’s most successful brand. The holding company reported that sports nutrition accounted for approximately 55.8% of its overall sales in Q1 of 2023, which was up from 48.9% in the first quarter of 2022.
In February, the Secaucus, New Jersey-based wellness and supplement company said it would be entering a “new era” in franchising, with 234 territories available and 12 franchise locations expected to open this year. The Vitamin Shoppe first started franchising in 2021.
Earlier this year, the wellness company celebrated the openings of new franchise locations in Valparaiso, Indiana, and Tempe, Arizona. The Vitamin Shoppe is also set to open a new location New Braunfels, Texas, later this year.