Zesty, facing stiff competition, replaces its CEO and restructures

TechCrunch has learned that there has been a management shakeup at Zesty, a business catering service that’s health-minded and tech enabled. Funded by Index Ventures, Founders Fund, Forerunner Ventures and Y Combinator, Zesty has raised $20.7 million in venture funding to-date.

Cofounder Chris Hollindale stepped into the CEO role in July, after the departure of his cofounding partner and Oxford University classmate David Langer, the company’s original CEO. Hollindale was originally Zesty’s CTO.

Hollindale said Langer’s departure was a personal choice and declined to elaborate further. Langer, who we contacted by email, also declined to share details of his departure. He said that he is personally working on a new venture but was not yet ready to disclose details.

Investors in the company could not be reached for comment.

At the time when Hollindale took the reigns as CEO, Zesty restructured its teams, giving new titles to different existing employees and clarifying managerial responsibilities, he said. While the current CEO acknowledges that several employees left, following the organizational changes, he said Zesty has not laid off employees.

The company bills itself as the only office caterer that is health minded and connects businesses with food prepared by local fine dining establishments.

The company’s competition has ramped up in recent quarters, with ZeroCater raising a $4 million round of venture funding this summer, and Farm Hill raising $3 million this spring. Both companies operate in Zesty’s back yard, the San Francisco Bay Area.

Following the departure of David Langer from Zesty, Hollindale says the company has maintained its focus on offices in and around San Francisco. It has also been working with and recruiting star chefs (including Nate Keller) to improve its products and operations.

Keller has been helping Zesty better predict how much food is needed, on a per order basis, to keep customers happy without wasting any, Hollindale said. Food waste is not only environmentally problematic, but erodes profits both for Zesty and the restaurants it works with to make nutritious meals for its customers.

Hollindale expects, no matter what is happening economically or politically in the U.S., California employers will keep offering meal perks, long-term, to appeal to millennial workers, and remain competitive from a recruiting standpoint.