Shares of Blue Apron (NYSE: APRN) were moving higher today as new CEO Linda Kozlowski took the helm of the struggling meal-kit service. Though there was no direct news out on the stock on her first day, shares continued to get a boost following last week's surge on the news. Shares of the meal-kit service were up 6.5% today as of 11:54 a.m. EDT, following a 6% jump last Friday, and the stock is now up 19% since the announcement came out after hours on April 2, showing clear enthusiasm for the switch.
Blue Apron said last week Linda Koslowski would become its new CEO effective today, replacing Brad Dickerson, who is leaving to pursue other opportunities, though he will remain in an advisory role for a period.
Koslowski was most recently the COO of Etsy (NASDAQ: ETSY), the craft-based online marketplace that has become a stock market juggernaut, surging about 700% over the last three years. Kozlowski served as COO from May 2016 to the end of last year, leaving the company to work on a new project. During her time at Etsy, she oversaw, in her own words, "all activities that are revenue generating or customer facing."
On her Linkedin page, she said of her new role at Blue Apron, "Those who know me know that I only take on roles where I truly believe in the product, and this is exactly that. I have been a Blue Apron customer for three years and consistently loved the quality of the ingredients and the incredible recipes that push me to learn and try new things. ... I believe there is so much untapped growth and opportunity ahead for Blue Apron. The team is passionate, talented and dedicated, and I am excited to lead the company to bring more customers creativity, discovery and connection through cooking at home."
Koslowski's vision for the company remains to be seen. Her experience as a marketer may be most valuable to Blue Apron, as the company has shed customers over the last year as part of Dickerson's strategy to work toward profitability by focusing on the company's best customers.
Considering that Blue Apron stock is trading at around just $1, there is considerable upside potential for the stock if Koslowski can return the company to top-line growth and continue to trim losses. However, that remains a tall task at this point, given intense competition in the industry and the unfavorable economics of meal kits.
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