July 14, 2022: -Black Rifle Coffee, a veteran-founded beverage company that went public earlier this year, said it had given a name to former Office Depot and Wendy’s CEO Roland Smith as executive chair.
Smith, a member of Black Rifle Coffee’s board of directors, is pushing into the role to work nearer with the company’s C-suite to start new brick-and-mortar locations and support growing direct sales to businesses.
Smith was Wendy’s CEO in 2011 and led Office Depot from November 2013 until February 2017. He was selected CEO of Office Depot shortly after it completed its merger agreement with OfficeMax. Simultaneously, he had a reputation for turning around businesses, including the grocery chain Food Lion.
He’s taking the chairmanship at Black Rifle Coffee from founder Evan Hafer, who will remain as CEO and as a sizable shareholder, a spokesperson said. Co-CEO Tom Davin will also stay with the company, the representative added.
Black Rifle Coffee, founded in 2014 and based in Salt Lake City, is known for selling firearms-themed coffee products such as its “AK-47 Espresso Blend” and “Murdered Out Coffee Roast.” Most of its sales are made online, and it even sells through major retailers like Walmart.
At the end of the initial quarter of 2022, Black Rifle Coffee had 18 locations, up from just four a year before. It is looking to have 78 stores by 2023.
Black Rifle Coffee’s net sales summed at $233 million for 2021, and it seems that number was rising to $315 million this year.
“I see significant opportunities for us to reach more customers through new channels and additional distribution points,” said Smith in a statement.
In February, Black Rifle went shared through a merger with a particular purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, SilverBox Engaged Merger Corp. The deal valued the beverage business at about $1.7 billion.
As of Tuesday’s market close, the company was valued at about $1.8 billion.