Beth Kaplan Resigns From GNC

Beth Kaplan Resigns From GNC
by Scott Welch

Big news in the US supplement retail scene as Beth Kaplan (pictured on left), President and Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer, has resigned from GNC after 3 1/2 years as a member of the senior management team. Beth was the women who prepared GNC for its recent initial public offering and helped get their very successful private label business to new heights. She’s also been instrumental in making it a bit easier for small to mid-sized supplement companies to compete at GNC with other larger companies which was a bigger problem in years past.

“Since Beth arrived at GNC, GNC has developed a world-class management team, particularly in marketing and product development, which is much stronger today than it was when she first arrived,” said Joe Fortunato, CEO of GNC. ”We are confident this management team will continue to drive the business without interruption. We are thankful to Beth for her contribution, and wish her well in her future endeavors.”

“Helping GNC grow and complete a successful IPO was one of my proudest professional accomplishments,” said Ms. Kaplan. ”With that milestone behind me, I plan on moving home to Baltimore to spend much more time with my husband and two sons, who have been so supportive of me during my many years of commuting.”

Beth Kaplan Gets Replaced The Same Day!

The same day the above release went out, GNC announced that Amy B. Lane has joined its Board of Directors, replacing Beth Kaplan! Ms. Lane brings extensive experience in the retail sector, both as director for companies such as TJX Companies and Borders Group Inc., as well as through a 25-year career as a Wall Street investment banker. Ms. Lane will replace Norman Axelrod on the Audit Committee. Mr. Axelrod will remain on the Board.

“We believe Amy will bring great value to the GNC Board,” said Joe Fortunato, CEO of GNC. ”She understands the challenges and opportunities of specialty retailing; at the same time, her experience as an investment banker in financing companies and helping senior management implement their growth strategies will be an important resource as we move forward.”

Ms. Lane was a Founder and Group Leader of the Global Investment Banking Group of Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. In that role, she worked on many M&A, equity and debt transactions for a wide range of major retailers. Previously, she had been a Managing Director in the M&A group at Salomon Brothers, Inc., specializing in the retail industry. She began her career as a Corporate Finance Generalist at Morgan Stanley & Co. She currently sits on the board of TJX Companies (NYSE: TJX), the leading off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions in the U.S. and worldwide, and is a former director of Borders Group Inc. In addition, she is a former Trustee of MFS Funds (Massachusetts Financial Services), the 8th largest mutual fund complex in the U.S. Her recent non-profit work includes Women’s Sports Foundation; Alvin Ailey; Youth At Risk; Mentor Big Brother Big Sister; and Mentor Leadership for a Diverse America.

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