Refreshed Board to Oversee the Continued Implementation of Strategies to Drive Growth and Enhance Shareholder Value
Blue Apron Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: APRN) today announced that it has appointed four new members to its Board of Directors with deep experience and new perspectives relevant to Blue Apron’s business and operations, effective October 15, 2020. The refreshed board will support the company as it continues to execute its strategies to drive growth and enhance shareholder value. Specifically, the four new directors bring to the Board extensive, proven experience in e-commerce, marketing and direct-to-consumer, digital media, operations and finance. Following these appointments, a majority of the company’s Board will continue to be independent directors.
The new directors joining the Board next month are:
Jennifer Carr-Smith, former CEO of Peapod and leader at Groupon with 25 years of experience in digital and e-commerce operations;
Peter Faricy, former CEO of Discovery Direct-to-Consumer and leader of Amazon Marketplace with deep direct-to-consumer and scale expertise;
Brenda Freeman, CEO of Arteza and a seasoned digital transformation leader with 23 years of experience in e-commerce and marketing; and
Barry Salzberg, former CEO of Deloitte and former professor at Columbia Business School with 40 years of leadership, finance and accounting experience.
In connection with the appointment of the four new directors, Blue Apron also announced the resignations of Brian Kelley, Tracy Britt Cool, Julie Bradley and Gary Hirshberg from the Board, effective October 15, 2020.
The company expects the refreshed Board’s skills and record of success will support the next phase of Blue Apron’s growth strategy as the company continues to invest in its product and marketing to build further operating momentum. The company remains focused on providing customers variety, flexibility and healthier options with recent efforts, including testing the ability for customers to order multiple boxes per week and plans to launch a range of new recipe customization options in the fourth quarter.
Matt Salzberg, Blue Apron co-founder and Chairman of the Board, commented, "I am proud Blue Apron has attracted such talented new board members who have the experience and accomplishments to further advance the company’s operating and financial performance. Combined with the company's recent achievement of year-over-year growth in the second quarter and the strengthening of our balance sheet, I am confident we are well positioned to enhance shareholder value. The Board unanimously approved our Board refresh process. Brian, Tracy, Julie and Gary have each been an incredible asset to us the last several years and I want to thank them for their hard work, counsel and contributions."
"For more than a year, we have been executing our three-part return to growth plan, and these efforts have grown and strengthened our business, including consistent improvements in average revenue per customer and orders per customer, alongside the increased demand we have seen from the pandemic," said Linda Findley Kozlowski, Blue Apron’s Chief Executive Officer and President. "We believe that Blue Apron is well positioned for continued progress against our growth initiatives. I am excited to lead Blue Apron into the next phase of its growth strategy with contributions and new perspectives from Jennifer, Peter, Brenda and Barry, as we look to continue to execute on our strategies to engage current and potential customers, while driving enhanced shareholder value."
Jennifer Carr-Smith brings to Blue Apron a successful long-term record of building, scaling and transforming businesses across a variety of e-commerce and digital sectors. Currently, Ms. Carr-Smith operates as a strategic advisor for several companies and holds Non-Executive Director roles at Perdue Farms, Full Harvest and Australia-based Woolworths Group. Ms. Carr-Smith is a seasoned e-commerce operating executive with 25 years of digital and e-commerce industry experience across a wide range of companies and roles, including as Chair of the Board and Interim Chief Executive Officer of Swap.com, General Manager and Senior Vice President North America Local of Groupon, Chief Executive Officer and President of Peapod, Chief Operating Officer of J.Crew Group’s J.Crew Direct, Chief Operating Officer of giggle, Chief Operating Officer of Gilt.com, Vice President of Strategy, Finance & Operations of Polo Ralph Lauren, and Senior Director of Operations at drugstore.com. Ms. Carr-Smith will serve as a Class II director with a term expiring at the 2022 annual meeting of stockholders, and will serve as a member and chair of the Board’s Compensation Committee as well as a member of the Audit Committee.
Peter Faricy brings career experience spanning more than 20 years of leadership in operations for major companies that sit at the intersection of technology and media. He is the former Chief Executive Officer of Global Direct-to-Consumer for Discovery, Inc., overseeing the company’s DTC businesses, including Motor Trend, Food Network Kitchen, Magnolia, DPlay, Eurosport Player and GOLFTV. Prior to joining Discovery, Mr. Faricy spent 13 years with Amazon, most recently as Vice President of Amazon Marketplace, where he was responsible for the growth of millions of third-party sellers worldwide. Previously, Mr. Faricy oversaw Amazon’s music and movie product categories in North America. Prior to Amazon, Mr. Faricy held management roles at Borders Group, Ford Motor Company, and McKinsey & Co. Mr. Faricy will serve as a Class III director, with a term expiring at the 2023 annual meeting of stockholders and will serve as a member of the Board’s Compensation, and Nominating and Governance Committees.
Brenda Freeman has a proven record of driving innovation and growth for world-class brands and start-ups. She is Chief Executive Officer of Arteza, a leading direct-to-consumer arts and crafts manufacturing and supply company, and current or former board director of Avnet, Caleres, Herman Miller and Under Armour. She is a seasoned digital transformation leader with 23 years of industry experience across a number of companies of all sizes, including as Chief Marketing Officer at Magic Leap, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at National Geographic Channel, Global Head of TV Marketing at DreamWorks Animation, Chief Marketing Officer at Turner Broadcasting System, Senior Vice President of Integrated Marketing and Partnerships, Nickelodeon at Viacom, Vice President of Consumer Marketing at VH1, Vice President of Affiliate Marketing, Entertainment Group at MTV Networks, and Executive Director at ABC Radio Network. Ms. Freeman will serve as a Class II director, with a term expiring at the 2022 annual meeting of stockholders, and will serve as a member and chair of the Board’s Nominating and Governance Committee as well as a member of the Audit Committee.
With over 40 years of experience, Barry Salzberg brings significant leadership, finance and accounting experience to the Board of Blue Apron. He was the Global Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, until his retirement in May 2015. While at Deloitte, Mr. Salzberg also served as Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte LLP (USA) and Managing Partner, USA. Mr. Salzberg is a member of the Thomson Reuters board and serves as the chairman of the board of directors for 10Eqs, a digital management consultancy startup. He previously was a member of the boards of New Profit, College Summit, the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Center for Audit Quality, United Way Worldwide and YMCA of Greater New York. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the New York County Lawyers’ Association. Mr. Salzberg will serve as a Class I director with a term expiring at the 2021 annual meeting of stockholders. Mr. Salzberg is the father of Matt Salzberg and is the beneficial owner of approximately 34.8% of the voting power of Blue Apron’s outstanding capital stock as of August 31, 2020.
About Blue Apron
Blue Apron’s mission is to make incredible home cooking accessible to everyone. Launched in 2012, Blue Apron is reimagining the way that food is produced, distributed and consumed, and as a result, building a better food system that benefits consumers, food producers and the planet. Blue Apron has developed an integrated ecosystem that enables the company to work in a direct, coordinated manner with farmers and artisans to deliver high-quality products to customers nationwide at compelling values.
This press release includes statements concerning Blue Apron Holdings, Inc. and its future expectations, plans and prospects that constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. For this purpose, any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as "may," "should," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "could," "intends," "target," "projects," "contemplates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential," or "continue," or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. Blue Apron has based these forward-looking statements on its current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that it believes may affect its business, financial condition and results of operations. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions including, without limitation, the company achieving its expectations with regards to its expenses and net revenue, its ability to maintain and grow adjusted EBITDA and to achieve or maintain profitability, the sufficiency of the company’s cash resources, the company’s need for additional financing, its ability to effectively manage expenses and cash flows, and its ability to remain in compliance with the financial and other covenants under the company’s indebtedness; its ability, including the timing and extent, to obtain additional financing and sufficiently manage costs and to fund investments in operations in amounts necessary to support the execution of the company’s growth strategy; its ability, including the timing and extent, to successfully execute the company’s growth strategy, cost-effectively attract new customers and retain existing customers, and to expand its direct-to-consumer product offerings; its ability to sustain the increase in demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and to retain new customers; any material and adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the company’s operations and results, including as a result of the loss of adequate labor, whether as a result of heightened absenteeism or challenges in recruiting and retention or otherwise, prolonged closures, or series of temporary closures, of one or more fulfillment centers and supply chain or carrier interruptions or delays; changes in consumer behaviors that could lead to declines in demand, both as COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and restaurant and other restrictions are lifted to varying degrees across the United States, and/or consumer fears dissipate, and/or as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on financial markets and economic conditions, including on consumer spending habits; its ability to identify, consummate and realize the anticipated benefits of strategic alternatives and the structure, terms and specific risks and uncertainties associated with any such potential strategic alternatives; achieving its expectations regarding the benefits and expected costs and charges associated with the company’s closure of its Arlington, Texas fulfillment center; its ability to maintain and grow the value of the company’s brand and reputation; its expectations regarding, and the stability of, its supply chain, including potential shortages or interruptions in the supply or delivery of ingredients, as a result of COVID-19 or otherwise; its ability to maintain food safety and prevent food-borne illness incidents; its ability to accommodate general changes in consumer tastes and preferences or in consumer spending; its ability to effectively compete; its ability to attract and retain qualified employees and key personnel in sufficient numbers; its ability to comply with modified or new laws and regulations applying to its business; risks resulting from its vulnerability to adverse weather conditions, natural disasters and public health crises, including pandemics; its ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection; and other risks more fully described in the company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2020 filed with the SEC on July 31, 2020, and in other filings that the company may make with the SEC in the future. The company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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