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Image credit: Miyoko's Creamery

Brief: Miyoko’s Creamery brings in ex-Coca-Cola executive as new CEO

August 1, 2023

Miyoko’s Creamery has appointed ex-Coca-Cola executive Stuart Kronauge as CEO following the  recent departure of interim president Jon Blair.

Kronauge, who cut her teeth in multiple senior roles during her 18 years at Coca-Cola including president of USA operations and senior vice president of marketing, left the drinks giant in early 2020 to become chief marketing officer at Beyond Meat, before joining The Juice Plus+ company as CEO in 2021.

“We are thrilled to welcome Stuart to the Miyoko’s team and are confident in her abilities to lead the brand through its next exciting chapter,” said James Joaquin, board member at Miyoko’s and cofounder at investor Obvious Ventures.

“Stewarding the next era of the leading plant milk dairy brand is a serendipitous next step in my career and personal journey, as a plant-based eater myself,” said Kronauge. “Organically a Miyoko’s loyalist for many years, I’m enthused to continue the important mission and core values of craft, compassion, conviviality and courage on which the company was founded.”

Stuart Kronauge: “Stewarding the next era of the leading plant milk dairy brand is a serendipitous next step in my career and personal journey, as a plant-based eater myself.” Image credit: Miyoko’s Creamery

Kronauge joins at a challenging time for the plant-based dairy company, which let go 12 staff with severance agreements last week following a round of layoffs of a similar scope in February.

Jon Blair, who joined Miyoko’s as CFO in March 2022, was propelled into an acting CEO role last summer after the board voted to remove its founder Miyoko Schinner as CEO following disagreements over strategy.

Months of protracted negotiations regarding Schinner’s ongoing role in the company followed before talks broke down and the board issued a press release on February 16, 2023 revealing its “unanimous” decision to replace her and seek a CEO with “proven P&L experience who has scaled a larger business.” According to the release, executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles had been tasked with finding a “highly qualified, passionate, and mission-driven leader.”

The same day, the company filed a lawsuit accusing Schinner of “hatching a plot” to steal its intellectual property, prompting Schinner to respond with a countersuit alleging she was forced out of her own company after complaining to HR about certain male executives who “openly denigrated women.”

After three months of airing their dirty laundry in public through court filings, the parties withdrew their respective legal claims in mid-May and issued a joint statement wishing each other well.

The company has not responded to inquiries about its performance in recent months.

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