Bang Energy’s parent company ousts controversial founder, appoints interim CEO

Diving summary:

  • Bang Energy’s parent company said Jack Owoc, who was the founder, CEO, cThe chief scientific officer and chairman of the board will no longer hold these positions or serve on the board, the company said in a statement.
  • Vital Pharmaceuticals, which makes Bang, said John DiDonato, currently the c of the companyThe chief transformation officer has been appointed interim CEO. the company said diDonato He brings more than 35 years of experience leading businesses through “complex financial and operational transformations.”
  • The removal of the Franks Owoc arrives five months after Vital filed for Chapter 11 protection after multiple costs lawsuits, the largest involving Monster Energy, weighing on his business.

Diving information:

The sudden departure of Fruit It is the latest in a series of high-profile incidents that have plagued Bang and its parent company in recent years. While Bang’s statement announcing the departure of its founder didn’t have many details, it’s likely the board lost trust in Owoc and wanted a new leader during a challenging period in the company’s history.

“We recognize Jack’s vision in founding this leading brand and creating a world-class product in the energy drink category,” Steve Panagos, chairman of the board, said in a statement. “As the Company continues to pursue value maximization, we are grateful to Mr. DiDonato and the executive leadership team for their stewardship and to the talented and hard-working Bang Energy team members for their unwavering commitment to the brand.”

Bang’s recent challenges have upended what had been an auspicious moment in the brand’s history.

Vital signed what appeared to be a promising distribution deal for Bang with PepsiCo in March 2020, but just eight months later, Vital announced it was ending its exclusive distribution partnership. “citing multiple issues and concerns regarding PepsiCo’s performance,” Owoc said.

“Honestly, we expected PepsiCo to perform at an even higher level based on its tremendous resources and promise. Unfortunately, we were wrong. PepsiCo, you’re fired,” he said.

The decision resulted in a bitter and protracted period of litigation before the companies parted ways.

Then, last October, Vital filed for bankruptcy to “help the company recover from recent challenges” and establish a new distribution network. The filing came after Monster Energy won $293 million in a false advertising and trade secrets case against Bang.

Monster was identified in bankruptcy court documents as Bang’s largest unsecured creditor. Bang also owed PepsiCo $115 million in a settlement, as well as $2.1 million from consumer programs, according to bankruptcy court filings.

In a statement announcing the bankruptcy, Bang said the PepsiCo deal led to a decline in market share, from about 9.7% just before the transaction to 6.3% when it closed, which equates to about of $680 million in lost sales.

Still, Owoc said at the time that Bang intends to regain his “formidable” market share. He vowed to continue fighting big corporations, including Monster and PepsiCo. “We are coming like a freight train and we cannot be stopped,” he said.

But Vital is now up for a bankruptcy court auction, the South Florida Business Journal reported last week, and the board likely believed it could best maximize its value in a sale under a new chief executive officer.

Bang still has a highly recognizable brand in the growing energy drink market. But its recent challenges haven’t done the company any favors, as it takes on a number of heavyweight brands, including PepsiCo-owned Rockstar, Monster and the rapidly growing Celsius, among other players.

Source link

James D. Brown
James D. Brown
Articles: 8217