Pure Gym hires ex-Wiggle boss Humphrey Cobbold

Kasmira Jefford
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Cobbold said his tech background would come in use as Pure Gym is based on an online model
Budget fitness chain Pure Gym is making sure it stays in shape after hiring the former boss of Wiggle, the online cycling retailer, to become its new chief executive.

Humphrey Cobbold, who stepped down as chief executive of Wiggle in 2013, has taken over the reins from Pure Gym’s founder Peter Roberts, who is now executive chairman.

His new role at Pure Gym comes as the no frills chain prepares to ramp up its expansion, with plans to open 40 new sites this year. This includes doubling its presence London.

Pure Gym has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2009, exploiting a dislike among cash-strapped consumers for higher membership fees and long-term contracts offered by traditional chains.

The private-equity back group currently has 90, 24-hour gyms across the UK and is also exploring options to expand overseas.

Last year it abandoned plans for a £300m merger with rival Gym Group after the Competition and Markets Authority wanted to pursue a more detailed investigation into the deal.

Cobbold, an avid cyclist who has held senior roles at Trinity Mirror as well as private equity firm Candover told City A.M.: “This is an excellent company that has showed really good growth and clearly has potential to grow more. I like the fact that its trying to bring a more accessible and affordable way to exercise to people around the UK.”

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