Blue Apron is shaking up its leadership in an attempt to revitalize its ailing meal kit business. This week, Brad Dickerson resigned as President and CEO and Ilia Papas, the company’s Co-Founder, announced he will be departing his post as Chief Technology Officer as well. Linda Findley Kozlowski has been appointed Blue Apron’s new President and CEO, effective April 8, 2019.
“This is an exciting time to join Blue Apron,” said Kozlowski. “Over the past year, the company has made significant product, platform, and operational advancements, and now has the right foundation for growth. I look forward to working closely with the team to focus on the best opportunities to attract and engage consumers and drive the business to new levels of performance.”
Kozlowski has 25 years of experience with innovative, consumer-focused companies and is known in the biz as an accomplished e-commerce executive. Most recently, she served as Chief Operating Officer of Etsy, in which she was responsible for product, marketing, customer engagement, and acquisitions. Prior to that, she served as COO of Evernote Corporation, in which she oversaw worldwide operations, managed cross-functional teams across seven countries and led the successful launch of the company’s multi-tier pricing strategy. She also worked for Alibaba.com as its Director of Global Marketing and Customer Experience. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communications and Journalism from Elon College and a Master of Arts in Journalism and Public Relations from UNC-Chapel Hill.
“We are incredibly excited to have an executive of Linda's caliber as Blue Apron's next CEO,” said Matt Salzberg, Chairman of Blue Apron’s Board of Directors. “Linda’s exceptional leadership and marketing expertise, as well as her understanding of Blue Apron customers as a long-time customer herself, will help her advance the company towards sustainable, profitable growth.”
Robert Goodman, Lead Independent Director, added, “We congratulate Linda on her appointment and look forward to working with her to build upon the strong foundation for future growth that is now in place.”
Dickerson first joined Blue Apron as its Chief Financial Officer in February of 2016. In November of 2017, he was appointed President and CEO and joined the Board of Directors. According to a press release, Dickerson has decided to resign in order to pursue new opportunities, but will remain as an advisor to the meal kit provider for a short period of time to assist with the transition. Blue Apron also asserted that Dickerson has left the company well-positioned strategically.
“Blue Apron has reached an important point in the company’s history, highlighted by a clear path towards adjusted EBITDA profitability and a sharpened focus on the strongest opportunities for the business, and the Board and I believe this is an appropriate time to transition to a new leader who can optimize for growth,” said Dickerson. “I am proud of the great things our team has accomplished and am confident that with Linda as CEO, Blue Apron will implement the appropriate strategies to create value for all of its stakeholders.”
Papas is also exiting Blue Apron in order to pursue new opportunities. His last day will be May 3, 2019. Papas is one of Blue Apron's Co-Founders and has helped build the brand up since 2012.
“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Brad for his leadership, and for the progress the team has achieved in the past year, including in driving operational optimization, realizing meaningful margin expansion, and evolving the company’s product portfolio and channel strategy,” said Salzberg. “I'd also like to thank my Co-Founder Ilia for all of his contributions over the past 7 years, particularly in developing Blue Apron's technology infrastructure and capabilities as our Chief Technology Officer. We wish both Brad and Ilia the best with their future pursuits.”
According to a report by Markets Insider, Blue Apron’s shares were up 7.3 percent on Wednesday, April 3rd, after Dickerson announced his resignation.
Will Linda Findley Kozlowski be able to fully resuscitate Blue Apron back to its former glory? Deli Market News will continue to keep an eye on the meal kit market.