SAN FRANCISCO -- Matthew Stevens has left Spectrum Athletic Clubs to become the new president and CEO of Western Athletic Clubs while Jim Gerber, founder and former president of Western Athletic Clubs, has been promoted to the company’s chairman of the board of advisors.

Stevens had spent five years at Spectrum before transitioning into his role at Western Athletic Clubs in September. While at Spectrum, Stevens executed three strategic acquisitions and increased membership at more than 22 locations. Prior to his arrival at Spectrum, Stevens was an executive with The Wellbridge Co. for nine years, with his last three years as vice president of sales and marketing.

“They did a nationwide search, and Matthew was considered to be one of the top candidates,” says Rick Caro, president of Management Vision, who was familiar with the hiring process. “The fact that they were able to woo him at this point is a real coup for (parent company) KSL (Capital Partners) and Western Athletic Clubs.”

Western Athletic Clubs has nine private athletic clubs and sports resorts on the West Coast, including The Bay Club in San Francisco and Pacific Athletic Club in Redwood City, CA. Western Athletic Clubs was purchased by KSL Capital Partners in March.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to work with such a successful team at Western Athletic Clubs, and with our partners at KSL, I am certain that our company’s ability to enhance members’ lives has never been stronger,” Stevens said in a statement.

In his new role with Western Athletic Clubs, Gerber will focus on new club development and strategic projects for the company. Gerber founded Western Athletic Clubs 33 years ago when he opened The San Francisco Bay Club.