Jim Mizes retires as Blaze Pizza CEO

The fast-casual pizza chain named Amanda Shaw interim CEO as it looks for a replacement.
Photograph courtesy of Blaze Pizza

Jim Mizes has retired as the CEO of Blaze Pizza, which on Tuesday named Amanda Shaw interim CEO as it looks for a permanent replacement.

Mizes retired effective on Friday, the company said.

Shaw has been the chief financial officer of the Pasadena, Calif.-based chain since 2018, and the company said she has worked with Mizes “to ensure a smooth transition for the business.”

She had previously held several roles with Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ Brands, including chief information officer and chief financial officer for its international division.

Blaze said in a statement Tuesday that its board of directors has formed a committee to search for a permanent replacement “and will consider both internal and external candidates” for the job.

Amanda Shaw

Amanda Shaw

The change in leadership comes as the fast-casual pizza chain continues its explosive growth. Blaze operates 341 locations in 42 states and features investors such as basketball star LeBron James, Maria Shriver and Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner.

System sales last year rose more than 20%, according to information from Restaurant Business sister company Technomic. System sales have grown from just $6 million in 2013 to more than $300 million last year.

The company is working to bolster its technology and especially delivery as it prepares to take on larger pizza chains—it has tested larger pies in part to generate more takeout sales.

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