According to a March 11 report from the Wall Street Journal, several executives have abruptly departed yogurt giant Chobani as the company has shelved plans for an initial public offering.
Citing “people familiar with the matter,” the WSJ said that Chobani’s president and COO, Peter McGuinness, informed employees in early March that he was leaving the company as of March 11 to pursue other opportunities. Additionally, Chobani’s chief people officer, chief strategy officer chief of corporate affairs are also leaving.
Chobani had originally planned to hold an IPO this past fall, before pushing it to January, according to the WSJ’s aforementioned source. The company reportedly eyed an initial valuation of $7 billion to $10 billion. Now, Chobani reportedly intends to hold off until at least the second half of 2022 or into 2023 for an IPO.
The WSJ’s sources said that the executive departures “are partly influenced by the delay in the IPO,” while personal decisions are also a factor.
McGuinness joined Chobani in 2013 in a marketing role, and rose through the ranks to lead the company’s supply chain, manufacturing, research & development, legal and finance operations. The WSJ cited sources saying that Chobani is still considering who to succeed McGuinness, along with the other departed executives. The WSJ cited an email to Chobani employees saying that the company’s executives will report to founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya in the interim.
Founded in 2005, Norwich, NY-based Chobani rose to prominence on its greek yogurt offerings before recently expanding to milks and creamer, both in dairy versions and plant-based. In its November 2021 proposed IPO regulatory filing with the SEC, Chobani claimed to have approximately 20% of the total U.S. yogurt market through the third quarter of 2021. At that time, the company also said it had about 1,900 employees. Chobani has three manufacturing facilities: one in New Berlin, NY; one in Twin Falls, ID; and one in Melbourne, Australia.
Chobani’s nine-month sails trailing Sept. 25, 2021 grew 14% year-over-year to $1.2 billion, while gross profit improved 7% in that stretch.