Gardenburger CEO resigns

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Meatless food marketer Gardenburger, Portland, Ore., said on Aug. 7 President-CEO Lyle G. Hubbard resigned effective Friday, Aug. 4. Gardenburger's board has hired executive search company SpencerStuart to replace Mr. Hubbard, and the role of interim President-CEO has been filled by James W. Linford, currently senior VP-supply chain and operations. Mr. Hubbard led Gardenburger for five years, during which time sales for the veggie burgers doubled and the niche natural-foods marketer became mainstream, in large part due to extensive ad efforts that have since been abandoned. In 1998, Gardenburger spent $18 million on measured media per Competitive Media Reporting, numbers that included a $1.5 million buy during the final episode of "Seinfeld." Since then, ad spending has fallen to $13.8 million in 1999 and nothing for the first four months of 2000. Gardenburger has said it has "refocused its strategy on achieving sustained growth and profitability . . . without heavy marketing spending." Gardenburger returned to positive operating income for the quarter ended June 30 compared with a $16.1 million loss for the same quarter in 1999.

Copyright August 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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