Nutrisystem Inc. said Thursday the employment contract of chief executive Joseph Redling will not be renewed, and he will step down immediately as chairman of the board of directors.

The Fort Washington diet-meals company said that Redling will remain CEO until his contract expires on Sept. 30, or until a successor is appointed. He will remain on the Nutrisystem board and will stand for reelection at the company's annual meeting in June, but will leave the board when he departs as CEO.

The company named Michael J. Hagan, former chairman and CEO as nonexecutive chairman, effective immediately. Hagan will lead the search for a new CEO.

Redling became CEO in May 2008 and joined the company in 2007 as president and chief operating officer.

Nutrisystem reported last month that it lost $1.1 million, or 4 cents per share, in the 2011 fourth quarter, on a 24 percent drop in sales, compared with the same period in 2010. The company also forecast a first-quarter loss of 5 cents to 10 cents per share. - Linda Loyd