Changes to C-suite at Indigo Ag
News travels fast in agribusiness, and high-profile job changes are no exception. To help everyone stay on top of who’s moving where in the world of food and agriculture, APN begins a new monthly column to compile all the significant moves we can find.
Last month, two Boston startups welcomed new executives and a Netherlands-based food retailer got its first-ever chief sustainability officer. Coffee giant Starbucks has cut one of its executive roles for the foreseeable future.
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C-suite changes at Indigo Ag: Two members of Boston-based Indigo Ag’s C-suite left in as many months. Jhe was chief commercial and chief operating officer of the company before that, Karsten Neuffer, left the company to become global CEO of RiceTec, Neuffer said in a LinkedIn post. It is not known whether his role was fulfilled. Also, Jennifer Betka, marketing director for three years, left to explore new opportunities. She was replaced by Victoria Godfrey, former CMO of Zipcar and SVP at DentaQuest. The company also hired a new chief financial officer in March.
Motif FoodWorks CEO Swap: Jonathan McIntyre has stepped down as CEO of Food Pattern to assume an advisory role. (Incidentally, McIntyre worked at Indigo Ag before joining Motif, a Boston-based spin-off Ginkgo Bioworks.) To replace him, Michael Leonard has moved from CTO to CEO and will lead the charge of what he calls “this new phase” for the company which was recently embroiled in a lawsuit with Impossible Foods over its use of the meat-flavored ingredient heme.
A new “priceless” financial recruit for GoPuff: Ted Stedem is the fast trade startup’s new CFO after years as CFO of QSR Panera. Stedem joins GoPuff just after the company laid off 10% of its workforce and closed 76 warehouses. The entire fast trade industry is struggling right now as startups try to achieve profitability in the midst of a recession. In a statement, GoPuff said Stedem will be ““will be invaluable as we move into the next phase of Gopuff.”
Visionary recruitment for Verdant Robotics: Georgia Tech faculty member Dr. Frank Dellaert, whose previous work includes Skydio, Facebook (now Meta) Reality Labs and Google AI, has joined Verdant as CTO to expand its computer vision and robotics applications . “As we continue to push the boundaries of discovery, it has become clear that Frank’s know-how and expertise broadens our technical reach,” Verdant CEO Dr. Gabe Sibley said in a statement. [Disclosure: AFN’s parent company, AgFunder, is an investor in Verdant Robotics.]
More COOs for Starbucks: A role that will not be renewed after the departure of its current director is the title of COO at Starbucks. John Culver will step down on October 3, and Starbucks will disband the COO position thereafter. The decision has been in the works for months, according to a letter from Culver, and is part of a larger overhaul of Starbucks’ leadership team that has taken place over the past few months.
McDonald’s Lands New Impact Hire: Finally, fellow QSR McDonald’s recently nabbed John Banner from PepsiCo and named him executive vice president and chief global impact officer.