(Reuters) - Greek yogurt maker Chobani is considering replacing Chief Executive Hamdi Ulukaya with its President and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Burns, the New York Post reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
One of the primary reasons for the removal of Ulukaya, who founded the company, is a product recall in 2013 that led to negative EBITDA of $87 million in the fourth quarter, the paper reported, citing internal documents it reviewed. (bit.ly/1xso0h9)
The recall was a result of bad design and layout incorporated during the construction of the company’s $450 million Idaho factory and due to a lack of training for workers, the Post reported.
Ulukaya, who built the factory, kept many of his key executives in the dark as they continued to spend freely amid mounting losses and increasing chaos at the factory, the newspaper said.
Private equity firm TPG [TPG.UL] invested $750 million in the New Berlin, New York-based company last year to save it from the cash crunch arising as a result of the problems at Idaho.
“We’ve had an active, operationally based CEO search underway to partner with our founder and owner (Ulukaya) and, while we have several exciting, qualified candidates, no decision has been made,” a spokesman for Chobani said in an emailed response.
TPG declined to comment.
Editing by Gopakumar Warrier