The Vitamin Shoppe Makes Interim CEO Permanent, Names President
The Vitamin Shoppe last week announced Lee A. Wright as chief executive officer and Muriel Gonzalez as president, effective immediately. Wright has taken the CEO post permanently after serving in the interim since January. He formerly served as the chief commercial officer of Franchise Group, Inc., The Vitamin Shoppe’s parent company, since January 2022. Prior to joining Franchise Group, Wright served in various executive positions at Conn’s, Inc., including COO and CFO.
Gonzalez previously served as The Vitamin Shoppe's executive vice president, chief merchandising and marketing officer since joining the company in August 2020. She has overseen all merchandising, marketing, branding, content and creative, product development, and private brands initiatives. Gonzalez previously held senior merchandising roles at Macy’s, and prior to held roles at Estée Lauder North America, Ann Taylor, Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Total Retail's Take: The Vitamin Shoppe made two internal appointments to fill its executive openings. Former CEO Sharon Leite departed the organization in January after over four years in the role to join aesthetics brand Ideal Image as its chief executive. The position of president is newly created at the brand. These new executive appointments strengthen the leadership team as the company "drives growth through expanding franchise program, merchandising innovations, and operating initiatives," according to a company press release.
“Across our organization, I'm committed to driving operational enhancements and marketing innovations to serve our communities with the highest quality products and industry-leading expertise and service," Wright said.
These are the most recent of several changes being made at The Vitamin Shoppe and its parent company, The Franchise Group. Earlier this month, the publicly traded holding company announced it agreed to be bought by a management group led by its CEO, Brian Kahn. Under the terms of the $2.6 billion deal, Franchise Group will go private after the acquisition’s expected close later this year.
Kristina Stidham is the digital content director at Total Retail and sister brands Women in Retail Leadership Circle and Women Leading Travel & Hospitality at NAPCO Media. She is passionate about digital media and handles video, podcast and virtual event production for all brands. You can often find her at WIRLC, TR, WLT&H or industry events with her camera and podcasting equipment—or at home on Zoom—recording interviews with thought leaders and business executives.
Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. Go Owls! When she's not in the office, she loves to go on long walks, sing around the house, hangout with her family and two pet guinea pigs, and travel to new places.