Blaze Pizza’s chief executive officer and president, Jim Mizes, announced his retirement August 23 after six years with the company. Mizes joined the pizza chain in 2013 as chief operating officer before he was promoted in 2017.
Amanda Shaw, who most recently served as Blaze’s chief financial officer, will step in as the interim chief executive officer. Shaw joined Blaze in early 2018. Before, Shaw served in various roles, including chief information officer and chief financial officer at Bloomin' Brands, the parent company of Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, and Carrabba’s Italian Grill.
Mizes and Shaw worked together since she joined Blaze, which will "ensure a smooth transition for the business," the company said in a statement.
A committee was formed to search for a permanent successor to Mizes. The company said it will consider both internal and external candidates to fill the role.
The shakeup in leadership comes on the brink of Blaze’s next wave of growth. Since opening in 2011, the pizza chain has expanded from its California base to 341 restaurants in 42 states and 5 countries.
“Frankly, most people in this country have not yet walked through a door of a Blaze Pizza,” Blaze’s founder Elise Wetzel says. “We are still very much a young, emerging brand. While awareness is growing, the opportunity to open more restaurants helps us build awareness to get our brand out there.”
The brand recently inked a multi-unit deal to expand in Dallas.