'We are a little older and wiser, but more excited than ever...' Chobani founder welcomes back Kevin Burns as president

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Hamdi Ulukaya (left) and Kevin Burns (right). Image credit: Chobani
Hamdi Ulukaya (left) and Kevin Burns (right). Image credit: Chobani

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Chobani has re-hired Kevin Burns – who served as its president and COO between 2014 and 2016 – as president and COO following the departure of Peter McGuinness.

Burns – who was a partner at private equity firm TPG Capital, which made a major investment in Chobani in 2014 - led e-cigarette maker Juul between 2017-2019 and spent the next couple of years at pharmacy services provider Alto Pharmacy.

He will report to Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, who tweeted​ about the appointment yesterday afternoon (as the Wall Street Journal broke the news​, citing an internal memo from Ulukaya to staff noting that Burns "understands the business, our people, and our industry"​).

“I am so happy to welcome back our friend Kevin Burns back to Chobani to lead​ [our] amazing team. We are a little older and wiser, but more excited than ever … stay tuned, more to come.”

Chobani - which is still best known for its Greek yogurt - has expanded its portfolio in recent years, launching a flurry of new products from ready to drink coffee​ to probiotic yogurts, shakes, ​ fermented beverages, the protein- and fiber-packed Chobani Complete range​, oatmilks and dairy creamers.​   

In a recent interview with FoodNavigator-USA, former president Peter McGuinness - who is joining foodtech firm Impossible Foods​ as CEO on April 4 - stressed that Chobani’s core yogurt portfolio is still growing, buoyed in part by a resurgence of growth in the yogurt category, which was amplified by COVID-19 (as more food consumption shifted to the home) but was evident well before the pandemic hit. 

“We're innovating from a position of strength. The base business is strong. It's not like we're innovating out of a core decline to chase growth."

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