The parent of the Jamba Juice chain announced today that CEO and president James White, age 54, will retire from his post as soon as a replacement is found.
White has served in those jobs for seven years, transforming Jamba from a juice bar for the Lycra set to a broad-menu option for the health-minded. He also diversified its revenue streams, aggressively seeking licensing deals to put the Jamba name on retail products ranging from food to blenders, and putting the brand into nontraditional settings through vending.
More recently, White concentrated on refranchising restaurants to improve Jamba’s balance sheet and cash flow.
He will also resign his post as chairman of the board.
“While I’ve thought about this transition for a while, the timing has been influenced by the virtual completion of our accelerated refranchising initiative, which now positions Jamba as a 90 percent franchised entity,” White said in a statement. “At this point, after seven years as CEO, I feel it is right for me to move on and for the board to transfer leadership to a new generation.”
Before joining Jamba, White was virtually unknown to the restaurant industry, but a familiar name to the investment and marketing communities. He had come to Jamba from the Safeway supermarket company. Earlier, he was a high-level executive for Gillette.