WALLINGFORD — Edible Arrangements announced Tuesday founder and longtime CEO Tariq Farid will step down as CEO of the Wallingford-based company.
Farid is stepping down to focus on growing Edible Arrangements’ parent company – Edible Brands – which includes “technology, supply-chain and other businesses as well as the Edible Arrangements brand,” the company said in a press release. Farid’s new title will be founder and CEO of Edible Brands, a company spokeswoman said.
Farid, 49, founded Edible Arrangements in East Haven in 1999. The franchise has more than 1,200 locations worldwide.
Fast food industry veteran Mike Rotondo will replace Farid and will work out of the company’s new second headquarters in Atlanta. Farid will continue working out of the company’s Wallingford headquarters, at 95 Barnes Road. Rotondo will report to Farid as CEO of Edible Arrangements, the company said.
Rotondo has spent the last decade at Tropical Smoothie Café, the last five years as CEO. He has more than 30 years in the quick-service industry, including leadership roles at Wendy's International, HoneyBaked Ham and Arby's Restaurant Group.
"I've closely followed Mike's career over the past decade at Tropical Smoothie, and when the time came to bring in a CEO, I knew he would be perfect for the role," Farid said.
Rotondo will help guide the company’s efforts to rebrand and offer more quick-service “treats,” like smoothies and frozen yogurt, at its store locations, in addition to fruit arrangement baskets customers can gift for someone else, Farid said in a phone interview Tuesday.
Farid said Rotondo will be “instrumental” and “bring a whole new perspective” to the company’s rebranding efforts.