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Boulder Brands slashes salaried headcount by 15%; unveils more ‘streamlined’ structure

By Elaine Watson+

08-Jul-2015

A high-profile re-launch of Boulder Brands' Smart Balance spreads on a non-GMO platform has not transformed the brand’s flagging fortunes
A high-profile re-launch of Boulder Brands' Smart Balance spreads on a non-GMO platform has not transformed the brand’s flagging fortunes

Boulder Brands – the firm behind EVOL Foods, Udi’s Gluten Free and Smart Balance – has reduced its salaried headcount by 15% and integrated its sales, marketing and innovation functions as part of a restructure following the departure of CEO Steve Hughes.

The firm, which recently warned that second-quarter sales would likely be 5-7% lower than they were in Q2, 2014, chiefly due to declines in the Smart Balance brand, said more cash would be spent on “enhanced marketing activities expected to help drive velocities of core products”, while the restructure would boost operational effectiveness.

"This strategic alignment is an important first step toward implementing meaningful change across Boulder Brands," said interim CEO Jim Leighton.

"Through this right-sizing of our organization, we are creating a more streamlined and integrated platform that will reduce administrative costs and allow us to focus our spending priorities towards innovative consumer marketing programs.”

The combined sales, marketing and innovation function will be led by EVOL Foods founder and Boulder Brands chief innovation officer Phil Anson, who has been appointed chief commercial officer, effective immediately.

Boulder Brands posted a $127.1m net loss in 2014 compared with a $10.4m net profit in 2013. However, revenues were up 12% to $516.6m driven mainly by growth in EVOL Foods, Udi's and Earth Balance.

The company blamed the losses on a weak operating environment for buttery spreads (poor sales of Smart Balance), service issues in its natural segment, and higher costs for egg whites.

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