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EzCater CEO Stefania Mallett to step down

Former Amazon and Lyft executive Ashwin Raj will take the helm starting Aug. 14

Stefania Mallett, cofounder and CEO of ezCater.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff/The Boston Globe

One of the Boston tech scene’s longest-serving leaders, ezCater chief executive and cofounder Stefania Mallett, is stepping down.

Mallett, who started the online business meal service in 2007, will hand the top job to former Amazon and Lyft executive Ashwin Raj starting Aug. 14. She will remain on ezCater’s board of directors.

“I have been building the company from the beginning to operate without me, because that’s just the way I’ve always built everything,” the 67-year-old serial entrepreneur said in an interview with The Boston Globe. “The company is doing really, really well and the team has got this. I thought if there was ever a time, quit while you’re ahead.”


Incoming chief executive Raj, 52, started at Lyft in 2017 while the ride-sharing company was still private and worked on the company’s 2019 initial public offering — valuable experience as ezCater plots its own IPO. Previously, he was director of Amazon’s Amazon Pay business and worked at credit card giant Visa.

“He’s got a lot of smarts about marketplaces, about growth, about operating at scale,” Mallett said. “We looked for someone who had experience for the phases of ezCater that we will be going through that just didn’t exist in our team.”

Raj will remain based in the San Francisco Bay area and will travel to Boston and other ezCater offices “as needed for in-person connection and collaboration,” a spokeswoman for the company said.

The Boston firm has rebounded strongly from a crunch at the start of the pandemic. In March, 2020, sales dropped 85 percent as office workers stayed home, and Mallett had to lay off 420 people. But she pivoted the company to serve new industries like construction and health care that still had workers on-site. With a more diversified customer mix, the company’s growth resumed and bookings doubled in 2021 and nearly doubled again last year.


Ashwin Raj, the former head of rideshare at Lyft, is taking over as the chief executive for Boston-based ezCater.ezCater

Bookings, which measure the value of all orders placed through the platform, increased 87 percent last year from 2021, Mallett said. (The company declined to reveal more specific financial data.) “In 2023, I can’t share numbers, but we are growing very nicely,” she said.

Since the tech bubble burst, ezCater is still waiting for an opportunity to go public and join other local tech companies trading on the stock market, including Toast and DraftKings. There was some talk in late 2022 of an IPO for ezCater this year, but the market has remained moribund.

“We are building an enduring brand, and we will,” Mallett replied when asked about the timing of an IPO. “Look at the market. This is not the time to go public.”

The idea for ezCater grew out out of an earlier company Mallett had cofounded with Briscoe Rodgers which helped pharmaceutical sales reps, who sometimes wanted to fete doctors with catered meals. The pair started ezCater in Mallett’s dining room. Rodgers remains at ezCater as chief strategy officer.

“We thought we were building a cash cow that would then fund our next idea,” she said. “And then we realized that we were backing into a huge market.”

Mallett’s departure follows several other leading tech founders who have stepped down since the pandemic struck. Tripadvisor cofounder Steve Kaufer left his job as chief executive last year after 22 years, and HubSpot cofounder Brian Halligan handed off the chief executive role in 2021 after 15 years.


Mallett said she plans to serve on other boards and work with nonprofits. She’s also planning to travel more. What about taking charge of another company? “I won’t say no, I won’t say never,” Mallett said with a laugh. “Maybe — this one was so much fun.”

Aaron Pressman can be reached at Follow him @ampressman.