- Blue Apron has named a quartet of new members to its board of directors, including former Peapod, Amazon Marketplace and Deloitte executives and the CEO of Arteza, a company that sells arts and crafts supplies to consumers online, according to a press release.
- The new directors, whose appointments are effective Oct. 15, bring expertise in key areas such as e-commerce, operations, finance, digital media, marketing and direct-to-consumer sales to the publicly traded meal kit company.
- Blue Apron is shuffling its seven-member board of directors as the meal kit industry rides a wave of interest from grocery shoppers, who have gravitated to pre-made food options amid the pandemic.
Blue Apron’s decision to replace more than half of its board members is part of a broad strategy by the company to attract interest from consumers during a promising but uncertain period for meal kit players.
The company, which saw its stock price surge to more than $16 during the early days of the public health crisis before settling into a lower range, is in the midst of a multi-year effort to rekindle growth and boost its market value.
The four new directors include Jennifer Carr-Smith, who served until September 2017 as president of Ahold Delhaize’s Peapod e-commerce business and later worked for Groupon; Peter Faricy, who led global direct-to-consumer operations at Discovery, a TV programming company, after serving as vice president of Amazon Marketplace; Brenda Freeman, a TV industry veteran who was named CEO of Arteza in March; and Barry Salzberg, who retired as global CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu in 2015. Salzburg is the father of Matt Salzberg, Blue Apron’s co-founder, chairman and former CEO. They will replace four departing members of the board.
Blue Apron is looking to the new directors to advise the company as it navigates a promising but highly competitive landscape. Consumer interest in meal kits has jumped because of the pandemic, but Blue Apron is jostling for business with other companies, such as HelloFresh and Sun Basket, as well as grocers that are evolving their prepared meal solutions. Blue Apron also has to contend with companies like Dinner Daily and eMeals, which work with food retailers to help consumers plan meals and order ingredients to prepare them.
Seeking an edge, Blue Apron has sought to add a dash of star power to its recipes. In June, the company signed award-winning Los Angeles chef and restaurateur Tim Hollingsworth to create exclusive recipes based on his renowned cooking style.
Blue Apron posted a surprise $1.1 million profit in the second quarter, which ended June 30, after losing $7.7 million during the same period in 2019, and saw revenue increase 10%. But Linda Findley Kozlowski, who became CEO of Blue Apron in April 2019, also warned when the company released those results that the subscription-based supplier of ready-to-prepare meal ingredients might face headwinds moving into next year.
In a statement, she said the new directors bring “deep experience and new perspectives relevant” to the company’s business and expressed optimism about its future prospects.
“We believe that Blue Apron is well-positioned for continued progress against our growth initiatives," Kozlowski said. "I am excited to lead Blue Apron into the next phase of its growth strategy with contributions and new perspectives from [the new board members] as we look to continue to execute on our strategies to engage current and potential customers, while driving enhanced shareholder value.”