Buppert, chief executive officer, and Staalstrom, chief operating officer, acknowledged their departure. Both declined to comment further.
The company did not respond to two calls from BevNET, but soft-played the news when speaking to Beverage Business Insights. Marketing manager Marie Navarro told the industry newsletter that Buppert and Staalstrom decided to step back from their day-to-day roles at Hobarama after a consultation with investors. Other than that, Navarro said, “it is business as usual,” and the company is planning to proceed in a yet-unrevealed “different direction.”
In the mean time, Navarro said, CFO Olivia Dann has been positioned as the company’s general manager.
BBI reported that the company has recently sought and entertained buyout options, but none have come to fruition. Investor Fifth Third Bank held a conference call last week, BBI reported, informing the company’s remaining employees that it has installed a turnaround executive to work with Dann to evaluate options for the company going forward, with an eye toward deciding on its next step by January.