EzCater hires former Lyft exec Ashwin Raj as CEO

Raj will replace Stefania Mallett, who is stepping down. She co-founded the online catering marketplace in 2007.
Ashwin Raj
Ashwin Raj was most recently EVP and head of rideshare at Lyft. | Photograph courtesy of ezCater

Online catering marketplace ezCater has named former Lyft executive Ashwin Raj as its new CEO, replacing longtime chief executive and co-founder Stefania Mallett.

Mallett decided to step down as CEO after 16 years but will maintain her role on the company's board, according to a press release.

Raj will take over Aug. 14, bringing experience in growing online marketplaces. He was most recently EVP and head of Lyft's core rideshare business from 2021 to May 2023, guiding it through the pandemic and its aftermath. Before that, he worked in other roles at Lyft; was director of Amazon Pay; and held multiple leadership roles at Visa.

In a statement, Raj recognized the company's strong foundation and said the he intends to build on it by "going even deeper in addressing the needs of our customers and catering partners.

"Together, we will make ezCater the go-to brand for food for work.”

Stefania Mallett

Stefania Mallett | Photograph courtesy of ezCater

Mallett co-founded ezCater along with Briscoe Rodgers in 2007 as a website for businesses to find catering for meetings. The Boston-based company now has more than 100,000 restaurants on its marketplace and customers in all 50 states. After struggling initially during the pandemic, ezCater bounced back in 2021 and grew bookings 87% year over year in 2022. Near the end of 2021, the company said it was planning to go public.

“From the start - 16 years ago - I’ve been building ezCater so that it could one day operate without me,” Mallett said in a statement. “Now’s the right time for both me and ezCater to enter new chapters. Ashwin is a strategic thinker and a long-term builder who shares our values, including our commitment to ‘going beyond helpful’ for our customers and partners. I’m confident he will lead ezCater through its next successes.”

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content

Consumer Trends

Fast food has lost its reputation as a cheap meal

Years of price hikes are driving consumers to grocery stores and even full-service restaurants, which are now viewed by some as a better deal.


Here’s what an activist investor could push Starbucks to do

The Bottom Line: With the coffee shop chain reportedly talking with an activist investor, here’s a look at some of the potential changes they might demand.


Panera apparently wants to go it alone again

The Bottom Line: The bakery/café chain is reportedly planning to sell Caribou and Einstein Bros. restaurant concepts three years after forming Panera Brands.


More from our partners