Tom Tolworthy has a reputation for growing things. During his 6-year tenure as CEO of The Vitamin Shoppe, Tolworthy helped the supplement retailer expand from 80 stores to 500. While at the helm of Barnes & Noble, he transformed the book retailer into the second largest operator of coffee cafes in the United States. Now Tolworthy is back in a leadership position within the dietary supplement space, this time as the CEO of Twinlab.

“I love the dietary supplement industry,” Tolworthy told “I always hoped that I would be able to come back.”

The supplement manufacturer appointed Tolworthy to the position last month. He replaces Bill Nicholson, who will continue as a board member and co-owner of Twinlab. IdeaSphere Inc. purchased Twinlab in 2004, following the supplement company’s decent into bankruptcy the previous year. Twinlab’s brands include the Metabolife weight-management products, Dr. Greene children’s and prenatal formulas, and Twinlab Fuel sports nutrition offerings.

According to Nutrition Business Journal, Twinlab’s revenues totaled around $90 million in 2009. Twinlab Director of Marketing Marc Stover told NutraIngredients-USA in April that the company posted 10 percent growth in 2010 and is expecting another year of double-digit expansion in 2011.

Twinlab’s long history within the dietary supplement industry attracted Tolworthy to this new leadership position. “There aren’t very many legacy brands that have stood the test of time—Twinlab has done that,” he said.  

Other attractive Twinlab attributes include the company’s reputation for quality manufacturing and the breadth of its product selection, added Tolworthy, who left The Vitamin Shoppe in October 2010 to serve as CEO of bike retailer Performance Bicycle.