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Report on Business Freshii launches search for new executive as CFO resigns

Freshii Inc. says its chief financial officer will leave the company early next month.

Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press

Freshii Inc.’s chief financial officer will depart from the company early next month as the eatery chain grapples with recent lacklustre performance.

Craig De Pratto, who joined the company in 2014, informed Freshii he will resign “to pursue another opportunity,” the company said in a statement Monday. It did not include details on his new position.

De Pratto played a central role in a period of rapid growth for Freshii, the company said, including its initial public offering in 2017.

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“The board of directors and the entire Freshii team join me in thanking (De Pratto) for his contributions, commitment and leadership,” said CEO Matthew Corrin in a statement.

De Pratto will stay in his role until May 10 and the company will start a formal search for a new CFO.

De Pratto’s departure comes as the company prepares to release its first-quarter earnings on May 10.

The company, which opened its first store in 2005 and has since grown to nearly 440 locations in 16 countries, has faced repeated challenges in several areas over the past couple years.

It announced ambitious expansion goals, hoping to number more than 800 stores by the end of its 2019 financial year and then scaled that figure back to more than 700 before scrapping the long-term outlook.

In its most recent quarterly earnings report, Freshii reported same-store sales dropped 6.1 per cent and Corrin committed to doing fewer things, but better.

He outlined plans to simplify the menu, as well as launch the company’s first global media campaign.

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When Freshii shares first went public in January 2017, they traded at roughly $12. The company’s shares were trading at about $2.03 Monday afternoon, down nearly one per cent or 20 cents.

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