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Beto Guajardo replaces Mandy Shaw as CEO of Blaze Pizza.

Blaze Pizza names former Focus Brands exec Beto Guajardo as new CEO

Guajardo comes to Blaze from Focus Brands’ international division two months after former CEO Mandy Shaw announced her departure from the company

California-based fast-casual pizza chain Blaze Pizza announced Wednesday the appointment of Beto Guajardo — former president of Focus Brands international — as the company’s new president and CEO. Guajardo replaces Mandy Shaw as CEO after sources said she departed the company in November after serving as CEO for three years.

"I am incredibly energized and honored to be joining the Blaze Pizza team," Guajardo said in a statement. "This is an exciting time for the brand, and I'm eager to continue the initiatives underway to enhance restaurant excellence and provide value for our franchisees and customers. We have significant opportunities ahead, and I look forward to working with the team to accelerate our next phase of growth."

Prior to joining Blaze, Guajardo oversaw the international division of Focus Brands, including 1,900 restaurants, 100 franchisees and eight brands in 50 markets globally. At Focus Brands, he was also responsible for the turnaround of the 370-unit Schlotzsky's brand as president of the Focus Brands company in 2019 and 2020. He has also held leadership positions at Starbucks and Levi Strauss.

"On behalf of the Brentwood team, we are excited to start the new year with Beto at the helm," Rahul Aggarwal, partner at Brentwood Associates, an investor in Blaze Pizza said in a statement. "Blaze is an important brand in our portfolio, and Beto has extensive executive level experience leading global restaurant brands and building high performing teams. I am confident that he has the experience and strategic vision to lead Blaze, its franchisees and employees to achieve new levels of success in the future."

Contact Joanna at [email protected]

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