Hughes, who co-founded the company, will be replaced by COO James Leighton on an interim basis until a permanent CEO is identified, a process that “will include a full review of internal and external candidates”, said chairman Dean Hollis.
“We are confident that Jim Leighton, a highly respected executive with decades of leadership experience across the industry, including at Perdue Foods, ConAgra, The Hain-Celestial Group and Nabisco, will provide the immediate leadership necessary to deliver on our commitments to our key stakeholders.”
Hughes said: "As Boulder Brands enters a new period of development, I believe now is the right time for a leadership transition."
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.