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Red Mango Appoints CEO

DALLAS ( TheStreet) -- Red Mango has named Barry M. Barron Sr. as CEO. Barron, who has held senior executive positions at ACE Cash Express, Papa John's and Pizza Hut, is to lead the popular frozen yogurt and smoothie chain through its next phase of growth, the company says.

Red Mango has 132 stores in operation.

Red Mango is one of a growing number of frozen yogurt establishments franchising across the U.S. and internationally.

Barron was most recently chief operating officer at ACE Cash Express, where he helped grow the chain to 1,800 locations from 700. His experience includes six years leading Papa John's international expansion and 10 years with Pizza Hut.

Barron will assume the CEO position next month.

The 5-year-old company has been under the leadership of Joe Vitrano, a Red Mango franchise operator and investor, since April 2010, according to a spokeswoman. Before that, founder Daniel Kim served as CEO. Kim will continue to serve as so-called chief concept officer, focusing primarily on product innovation, social media initiatives and brand marketing as opposed to executing corporate strategy, while Vitrano will continue to be a Red Mango operator and investor.

Barron's experience with store development and operations is "perfectly suited" to continuing a rapid pace of expansion through franchising, Red Mango Chairman John Antioco says in a statement.

Red Mango is part of the growing number of frozen yogurt establishments franchising across the U.S. and internationally -- a trend that started in the 1980s but has seen a resurgence in recent years as consumers demand healthier food options.

>>>How Pinkberry Won the Yogurt Revival

"From the upscale decor, to the healthy, innovative line of products to the active online fan base, Red Mango is a company that understands its strengths and truly differentiates itself from other concepts," Barron says in a statement. "And because those elements are firmly in place, now is the perfect time to accelerate the company's growth on both national and international levels."

It recently expanded its menu to include all-natural made-to-order fruit and yogurt parfaits, fresh fruit smoothies and all-natural probiotic iced tea.

Red Mango is a portfolio company of CIC Partners, a middle-market private equity firm.

"We strongly endorse Barry's appointment," says Fouad Bashour, Red Mango director and partner with CIC Partners. "CIC Partners has enjoyed a long history with Barry. He was instrumental in growing the ACE brand and creating value for its shareholders and we look forward to similar results from Red Mango."

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To follow Laurie Kulikowski on Twitter, go to:!/LKulikowski

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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