Boulder Brands CEO Steve Hughes quits as firm warns Q2 sales will decline

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Steve Hughes: 'I believe now is the right time for a leadership transition'
Steve Hughes: 'I believe now is the right time for a leadership transition'
Shares in Boulder Brands – the firm behind EVOL Foods, Udi’s Gluten Free and Smart Balance – plummeted this morning after CEO Steve Hughes resigned and the firm 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.

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”, s​aid 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.

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Posted by Kathleen Hallal,

I wish Boulder Brands would make their gluten-free products from organic or glyphosate-free grains. As it stands, with our sensitivities, we must eat organic. And with glyphosate in the food, even if it is gluten-free, that is not enough. Sorry to hear the company is struggling.

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