Announcement comes as the club chain mourns the loss of Arthur Goldberg.

Announcement comes as the club chain mourns the loss of Arthur Goldberg.

CHICAGO - Following the recent passing of Bally Chairman Arthur Goldberg, the chain's board unanimously elected Lee Hillman as Goldberg's successor. Hillman has been Bally president and CEO since 1996, and will continue to hold those positions.

Goldberg brought Hillman to Bally Total Fitness and its former parent, Bally Entertainment Corp., in the early '90s. Hillman started as CFO and assisted in the casino company's financial restructuring.

Hillman, who was mourning the loss of his friend and mentor, declined to discuss his new position with Club Industry. However, Bally Total Fitness did address the change by releasing a written statement from J. Kenneth Looloian, a member of the executive committee of the board of directors.

"We were all deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Arthur Goldberg," the release read. "Arthur was a great friend and a mentor to all of us, and he was especially close to Lee these past eight years. It was in his plans that Lee would succeed him one day.

"The board has every confidence in Lee's abilities, and his stellar record with the company speaks for itself. He is an outstanding leader who has a reputation for energy, intelligence and for helping to build strong, stable companies. We know that he will surpass our expectations, and we give him our full support."