Blaze Pizza Appoints Beto Guajardo as New President/CEO

A former VP at Starbucks, Guajardo was instrumental in restructuring the coffee company to focus on investments for long-term growth.

  • Beto Guajardo takes over as president and CEO of Blaze Pizza after the departure of Mandy Shaw, who served in the role for three years.
  • Guajardo previously served as president of Focus Brands International, which has a portfolio of 1,900 restaurants.

Blaze Pizza has appointed Beto Guajardo, the former president of Focus Brands International, as its new president and CEO.

Mandy Shaw, Blaze Pizza’s previous CEO for three years, departed the company in November, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.

Guajardo joins Blaze Pizza after overseeing the international business at Focus Brands, which included more than $400 million of chain sales in over 50 markets with 1,900 restaurants, 100 franchisees and eight brands (Cinnabon, Auntie Anne’s, Jamba, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAlister’s Deli and Schlotzsky’s). Before being promoted to this role, Guajardo was responsible for the turnaround of the 370-unit Schlotzsky’s brand, which resulted in 30 weeks of consecutive same-store sales growth under his leadership, according to a press release.

“I am incredibly energized and honored to be joining the Blaze Pizza team,” Guajardo said. “This is an exciting time for the brand, and I’m eager to continue the initiatives underway to enhance restaurant excellence and provide value for our franchisees and customers. We have significant opportunities ahead, and I look forward to working with the team to accelerate our next phase of growth.”

Prior to joining Focus Brands, Guajardo served as senior vice president of global strategy at Starbucks. There, he led several initiatives, including Starbucks Delivery, CRM technology, its go-to-market strategy, new store development, and innovation. He was also instrumental in restructuring the coffee company to focus on investments for long-term growth. Previously, Guajardo held senior leadership positions at Levi Strauss & Co, Avon Cosmetics and McKinsey & Company.

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“On behalf of the Brentwood team, we are excited to start the new year with Beto at the helm,” said Rahul Aggarwal, partner at Brentwood Associates. “Blaze is an important brand in our portfolio, and Beto has extensive executive level experience leading global restaurant brands and building high performing teams. I am confident that he has the experience and strategic vision to lead Blaze, its franchisees and employees to achieve new levels of success in the future.”

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Los Angeles, Blaze Pizza has more than 330 restaurants across 38 states and six countries.