Lance Leonard Departs as CEO of True Drinks

berry-frost-brand-800tall-430x600Lance Leonard has resigned from his post as president and CEO of True Drinks, the parent company of children’s flavored water brand AquaBall. According to an SEC filing and a press release sent to BevNET, Leonard tendered his resignation Dec. 21, also stepping down as a member of the company’s board of directors. Though no reason for his departure was given, the filing states that “Mr. Leonard’s resignation is not due to any disagreements with the company on any matter relating to its operations, policies or practices.”

True Drinks’ chief marketing officer Kevin Sherman is assuming the role of CEO on an interim basis, effective Jan. 15. Sherman joined the company as CMO in October 2012 and was appointed to the board of directors in September 2015.

In October True Drinks announced a multi-year bottling agreement with Niagara Bottling, guaranteeing the production of 3.2 million 24-pack cases of AquaBall annually for five years. The deal also announced AquaBall’s transition from a cold-fill bottling process to a hot-fill one, which Leonard stated would allow the brand “to expand into areas for which preservatives have been a road-block such as natural foods, schools and quick-serve restaurants.”

Leonard’s abrupt departure from the company comes at the end of a seemingly strong year for the company. In February True Drinks secured $4 million in financing from Toba Capital Management. A month later the company announced AquaBall’s entry into 698 Target stores, a distribution gain it followed by adding placements at 1,100 Casey’s General Stores. In November, True Drinks released its 2015 third quarter earnings, reporting a 24 percent increase in revenue from the same period a year before.

True Drinks did not return requests for comment for this story.