EMERYVILLE Calif. Jamba Inc. CEO and president Paul Clayton resigned Wednesday and was replaced by board chairman Steven Berrard in an executive shakeup at the Jamba Juice parent, which has cut jobs and closed stores amid falling sales.
No reason was given for Clayton's resignation. Also exiting the company is Donald Breen, the smoothie chain's chief financial officer and senior vice president. He resigned to pursue another unspecified opportunity, company officials said. Karen Luey, vice president, controller and principal accounting officer, will replace Breen on an interim basis.
The 736-unit Jamba Juice chain has been struggling with declining sales, particularly in California, where housing woes and high gas prices have dampened consumer spending. Earlier this year, Jamba said it would eliminate 53 jobs to reorganize support staff, close 10 underperforming stores, and terminate leases on seven planned openings. Eight of the underperforming stores closed July 15.
Preliminary results for the quarter ended July 15 showed same-store sales falling 7.3 percent for company stores, on top of a year-earlier drop of 3.5 percent. Quarterly earnings are to be released Aug. 21.
Both Clayton and Berrard were part of Services Acquisition Corp. International., the holding company that merged with previous parent Jamba Juice Co. in 2006 and took the company public as Jamba Inc.
"Notwithstanding these tough times, the board remains steadfast in its belief in the future of Jamba Inc. and is fully committed to helping the company and its leadership team realize its full potential for the benefit of our stockholders, as well as our team members, franchisees, and many other business partners," said Berrard, who thanked Clayton for eight years of service to the brand.