Blue Apron founder Matt Salzberg is stepping aside as the company’s CEO, the company announced Thursday. CFO Brad Dickerson has been promoted to take his place.
It’s been a volatile past few months for the cooking kit company, which went public in June. Shares closed Thursday at just $2.99 (Blue Apron went public at $10 per share, after originally hoping to go public between $15 and $17).
But Amazon purchased Whole Foods just days before its debut and investors were concerned that this would eventually impact Blue Apron. There also was skepticism about Blue Apron’s customer retention.
Blue Apron’s costly new warehouse also put a dip in investor enthusiasm, as it was revealed that the company would spend less on marketing to help finance it. Marketing had been a key element of Blue Apron’s growth.
Salzberg will be staying on as executive chairman and chairman of the board of directors.
Blue Apron laid off 6 percent of its employees last month.
Earlier this month, Blue Apron reported earnings that disappointed investors. The company brought in $210.6 million for the quarter, which is impressive for just a five-year-old business. But growth was slowing and costs were growing.
Competitor HelloFresh recently went public in Europe. Plated was recently bought for $200 million.
There are countless meal delivery startups and Blue Apron has been a leader. But many of them offer discounts to new customers, which encourages people to switch from business to business.
Some of them have a different focus — Sun Basket and Green Chef are focused on organic. Others fit particular diets or are designed to be prepared in minutes.
Blue Apron has marketed themselves as a way to cook gourmet food without having to hunt down all the ingredients. It still has a cult following amongst some customers, but the stock market is not optimistic that it will be able to keep up its growth.
Blue Apron was backed by Bessemer Venture Partners and First Round Capital before its IPO. Salzberg previously worked at Bessemer as an associate.
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