LOS ANGELES, Dec. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- ViSalus CEO Ryan Blair today announced a new investor group and corporate restructuring designed to strengthen the company's balance sheet. As part of this transaction, Blair announced he is stepping down as CEO to devote more time to his fast-growing venture capital firm HashTagOne and towards mentoring leading tech innovators. Blair will hand the reins to ViSalus Co-Founder Nick Sarnicola, who will take over as CEO effective January 1, 2017.
After selling the company to Blyth, Inc. in 2012 for $792.4M, Blair and his co-founders bought the company back for $148M in September 2014, taking the company private. After two years of investing in international expansion, the acquisition of NEON Energy Drink, right sizing the business, debt restructuring and stabilizing sales, Blair sold controlling interest to an investor group led by his Co-Founder Nick Sarnicola. Blair and The Goergen family remain on the board, and The Carlyle Group owned Blyth, Inc. remain shareholders.
"I spent the past twelve years pouring my blood, sweat and tears into ViSalus and am pleased with the current health of the business," said Ryan Blair, chief executive officer, ViSalus. "I leave the company in my fellow co-founder's very capable hands. After releasing my second book, traveling the nation for speaking engagements and watching HashTagOne blossom as a leading VC firm, I'm excited to spend more time investing in America's entrepreneurs, the backbone of our economy."
Blair will continue serving as a member of Vi's Board of Directors and remain a significant stockholder and investor in ViSalus. He will also remain active in ViSalus by working closely with Sarnicola as a key advisor by providing his counsel and insight in order to ensure a smooth transition.
Blair co-founded HashTagOne in 2011 to provide tech innovators and other entrepreneurs an alternative to traditional venture capital. Based in Los Angeles (Silicon Beach), the company prides itself on its front line business experience (not just financial pedigree), having created and sold a number of highly successful companies with exits in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Its most successful investments to date include Elite Daily, Heal, Fragmob and Saucey.
Blair also just released his second book: Rock Bottom to Rock Star: Lessons from the Business School of Hard Knocks. In his first book, Nothing To Lose, Blair shared the brutally honest story of how he went from an at-risk youth to a self-made multimillionaire by his early twenties. The book became a global best seller and has been translated in over 10 countries. As his story became a national sensation, fans started asking him how they too could become entrepreneurs, elevate their own careers, and achieve financial independence. Rock Bottom to Rock Star answers those questions and helps others avoid the mistakes he made in the school of hard knocks.
JCUTLER media group
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SOURCE Ryan Blair