CHANHASSEN, MN -- Life Time Fitness, Chanhassen, MN, announced today that President and Chief Operating Officer Michael J. Gerend will leave the company effective May 1.

Gerend joined Life Time Fitness in March 2003 after having served as president and chief executive officer of Champion Air. Prior to that, he held numerous senior management positions at Northwest Airlines.

In December 2007, Gerend took over as Life Time’s president, a role held by chairman and CEO Bahram Akradi.

“During his tenure, Mike played an instrumental role in building and expanding the strong leadership team we now have in place and, in turn, the growth and performance we have achieved,” Akradi said in a statement. “As he makes his transition from the company, I want to thank Mike for his six years of dedicated service and many contributions. Moving forward, the current executive team will assume the responsibilities he formerly held.”

According to a profile by Forbes magazine, Gerend had a base salary of $335,000 in 2008, with total compensation coming to $908,857.