Co-Founder Leaves Izze

Greg Stroh, the heavy metal-loving co-founder of the growing Izze Beverage Co., resigned yesterday after the company hired consumer products veteran Peter Burns as its new vice president of sales.

Stroh, a fifth-generation scion of the beer-brewing Stroh family, helped start Izze in 2002. According to his partner and the company’s president, Todd Woloson, Stroh “did a phenomenal job building Izze through our entrepreneurial stage.”@@img1

But the company has grown at phenomenal rates over the past three years, increasing its sales by more than 450 percent and reaching distribution deals with retail giants like Starbuck’s, Target and major organic grocery players Whole Foods and Wild Oats. With a cash infusion of more than $6 million in January, the company had clearly reached a new developmental phase.

Burns, 44, worked as a general manager at Celestial Seasonings for eight years, and then as the executive vice president of sales at Mauna Loa.

“His combined experience of management leadership, sales integration, distributor relations and product development will help lead Izze to the next level,” Woloson said of Burns.

Stroh told the Boulder, Co., Daily Camera that he had enjoyed working with Izze and had not ruled out trying to start another beverage company.