Chobani’s delayed IPO and sudden executive exits suggest culture clashes

Late last week the WSJ revealed the much anticipated IPO for yogurt brand Chobani was delayed (again) and four senior executives including the President and COO were leaving, effective this week.

Chobani has been a darling of the food industry and I have previously blogged about its rapid rise.

The business claims 20% market share in America and sales this year are set to exceed $1.5b.

The rapid departure of the President, Chief Strategy officer, Chief People officer and head of Corporate affairs attest that trouble has been fermenting in Chobani, almost certainly a clash of direction with owner Hamdi Ulukaya?

Hamdi Ulukaya, source: Inc. magazine

The appetite for IPOs has rapidly shifted. Oatly which became a public company last year, to much acclaim, is trading below its offer price. Food companies everywhere are grappling with inflation and logistics pressures.

For example, milk, a key component of Chobani’s cost of goods, has risen 21% this year (source: Nasdaq futures).

As much as Chobani has been a sales and market share success story, the business remains in the red. In the 9 months to September 2021 losses were $24m. 

Cover picture source: Martin Howden executive coaching

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