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Chobani Hires New CFO, Discusses IPO

By Lauren R. Hartman, Product Development Editor

Apr 19, 2016

Greek-style yogurt maker Chobani LLC, has appointed Mick Beekhuizen as its new CFO, its second in about two years. Beekhuizen replaces Dipak Golechha, who joined Chobani as CFO at the end of 2013 and left the company last year. Golechha has since joined NBTY Inc., a vitamin and supplements distributor. Beekhuizen was previously CFO at for-profit college Education Management Corp.

Financially, "everything is on the table," according to Beekhuizen in a discussion this week with The Wall Street Journal. Beekhuizen was referring to Chobani’s future, including a potential initial public offering, as it balances growth with its founder’s desire to retain control. One of his first goals will be to weigh the company’s opportunities outside the U.S. with domestic ones, such as smaller markets and new products like a guava-blended yogurt that will become widely available this summer. Chobani has been seeking a potential partnership and entertained various offers, such as PepsiCo's, which Chobani turned down because PepsiCo wanted a majority stake, which Chobani wasn't willing to offer.

Beekhuizen said he was drawn to Chobani for its "great brand," which ranks nearly fifth in the U.S. yogurt market. He added that he will make sure the company’s finance function extends throughout the company, including sales, marketing and the supply chain, to give the yogurt maker faster decision-making capabilities. The core finance team will remain in place. "I’ve got to make sure I don’t drop that backbone," he stated.