Krispy Kreme Doughnuts boss Daryl Brewster has resigned for personal reasons after less than two years in the job.
Krispy Kreme stock rose on news of Mr Brewster's resignation
His decision to step down comes as efforts to turn around the struggling snack food chain have stalled.
Investors welcomed news of Mr Brewster's resignation, sending Krispy Kreme shares up more than 10%.
Healthier eating trends have led to declining sales and widening losses at the glazed doughnut chain.
Competition from rival Dunkin' Donuts and franchisees filing for bankruptcy have also damaged Krispy Kreme.
Mr Brewster joined the firm in 2006 from Kraft Foods and will be replaced by the current chairman, James Morgan, at the end of January.
Under Mr Brewster's watch, Krispy Kreme has lost nearly 57% of its value - it fell as low as $2.50 a share in December.
In afternoon trade on Wall Street, its shares were up 9.54% at $3.10.