Changes at the top for The Gym Group
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Changes at the top for The Gym Group

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The Gym Group COO Jim Graham will leave by the end of this year to return to the world of private equity, the gym chain announced in a trading update issued this morning (5 July).

Graham – who was operating partner at Phoenix Equity Partners before joining The Gym Group in April 2014 – is seeking fresh challenges, having helped the budget operator become the first UK gym chain to go public in more than a decade.

“Jim’s decided to go back to private equity; he’s been a great member of the team and we’re sorry to see him go,” The Gym Group CEO John Treharne told Health Club Management.

“He joined us after Phoenix became an investor and was very helpful in the CMA merger process we went through and then obviously with the IPO, but now we’re well to the other side of that, he’s decided to move on and go back to private equity.”

Treharne confirmed the gym chain will bolster its senior management team over the summer with two new appointments. Nick Henwood, an experienced operator who was previously at David Lloyd Leisure, Mothercare and Sainsbury’s, will join as operations director in August. Meanwhile, Barney Harrison has also been recruited from Sky and will take up the marketing director role in October 2016. Both positions will sit on the company’s executive committee.

In addition, The Gym Group has secured the services of David Kelly as an independent non-executive director, with effect from today. Kelly – currently a non-executive director of On the Beach Group and Trinity Mirror Group – arrives with a strong technology pedigree, having held senior roles with the likes of Amazon, eBay and Lastminute.com.

“David is a great addition and demonstrates how being a listed company enables us to attract top people. He brings a much wider skill-set, with an impressive CV which is clearly not rooted in the health club market, but there are significant synergies in the technology sphere,” added Treharne.

“As a business, we’re much more aligned to other low-cost businesses than we are necessarily to the traditional health club business. We’re much more similar to an easyJet, than say a David Lloyd.”

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The Gym Group COO Jim Graham will leave by the end of this year to return to the world of private equity, the gym chain announced in a trading update issued this morning (5 July).
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