Blue Apron CEO Steps Down Following Sluggish Growth

After a spiral downward from its much hyped initial public offering this past June, the CEO at Blue Apron the meal-kit company resigned.

Matt Salzberg founded the company in 2012 and will be replaced by current CFO at Blue Apron Bradley Dickerson. Salzberg told his employees he was stepping down in a letter on Thursday. He will become the executive chairman and remain as chairman of the company’s board of directors.

The price of stock at Blue Apron has plunged since it launched the IPO and its financial performance has been lackluster.

Salzberg said in his letter that he acknowledged the public market performance of Blue Apron has come up short of his expectations but gave praise to his successor.

Salzberg wrote that Dickerson has a great understanding of what is needed to improve the company’s financial performance and is a passionate believer in the company’s mission and potential the team has. Salzberg said he was leaving the company in good hands.

Stock at Blue Apron debuted at $10 in June, but on Friday was as low as $3.13 during trading hours.

When the company posted its earnings for the third quarter on November 2, revenue was $210.5 million, which actually beat expectations on Wall Street, but was down from second quarter revenue of $238.1 million.

In October, the company laid of 6% of its overall workforce.

Salzberg becomes the latest in a series of food company founders who bowed out over the past few months. On Wednesday, burrito maker Chipotle Mexican Grill said that Steve Ells would step down as the company’s CEO and would remain as the executive chairman.

In early November, Ron Shaich from Panera said that he was stepping down as the CEO, but would remain as the chairmen of Panera’s board of directors.

During April, CEO at Starbucks Howard Schultz, not the founder of the chain, but the executive, who has been credited with making it grow into a worldwide brand, shifted to executive chairman from CEO.

The decision at Blue Apron for Salzberg to step aside appeared to be accepted positively by Wall Street. An analyst on Wall Street said the news was positive. He added that the company would benefit from the seasoned experience of Dickerson.

Blue Apron, based in New York recently opened a new fulfillment center in New Jersey, but faces increased competition from other companies selling meal kits, like HelloFresh, which on November 2 went public, and Plated, which was bought during September by Albertson’s the privately held supermarket.

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