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Flyfeed's Dr. agr. Marwa Shumo. Image credit: FlyFeed

People moving on: Trios of new execs for GoodLeaf & Danone, CFO shuffle at Cargill, Beyond Meat’s branding head leaves

February 3, 2023

To keep everyone up to speed on the latest people moves in the world of food and ag, AFN publishes a monthly column of the industry’s biggest people moves. This month, the news comes in threes: a trio of CEOs at Danone and three new executives at GoodLeaf farms. Also of note: a new CEO for FarmWise, more executive shuffling at Cargill, Flyfeed’s new biochem boss and more changes at Beyond Meat. 

Are you in a new role or company? Know someone who has left? Drop me a line to share the details: [email protected].

Flyfeed’s Dr. agr. Marwa Shumo. Image credit: FlyFeed

New heights for FlyFeed’s biochem team

Estonia-based insect protein startup FlyFeed welcomed new leadership this past month with Dr. agr. Marwa Shumo, who will head the startups biochemical development division. 

As FlyFeed noted in a LinkedIn posting:

Marwa chose to devote her scientific knowledge to the problem of waste management when she visited Muscat City in Oman. She was appalled by the stark contrast between the clean streets and the overflowing landfill outside the city. At this moment, she realized insects could be a powerful and effective solution for the waste issue in the long term.

Marwa holds a Ph.D. in agriculture and entomology from the University of Bonn. She joins Flyfeed from roles at the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy and the Center for Development Research (ZEF).

Good(Leaf) things come in threes

To accompany its expanding CEA business, Canada’s GoodLeaf Farms just made three executive hires: Juanita Moore, Cheryl Verbiski, and Martin De Rome.

Moore, an internal hire, will serve as vice president of corporate development, a role in which she’ll lead GoodLeaf’s move into speciality plants for food, cosmetics, Pharma, and more.

“As Canada’s largest commercial vertical farm, to date, we have been focused on providing a local source of fresh leafy greens. But there are so many other benefits we can offer in other sectors, and I am looking forward to leading the exploration of these opportunities,” Moore said in a statement.

Meanwhile, food industry veteran Verbiski joins as vice president of commercial, overseeing will oversee the commercial expansion. 

Mechanical engineer Martin De Rome will serve as vice president of operations, overseeing GoodLeaf’s current farm as well as the company’s expansion across Canada.

Once, twice, three times a Danone CEO

CPG Danone is also getting a new trio of executives, with three Group Deputy CEOs: Shane Grant, Veronique Penchienati-Bosetta, and Juergen Esser. All three will report to Danone CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique, and help foster the company’s Renew Danone strategy.

Grant is the current CEO of Danone North America. In his new role, he will head up Latin America along with the company’s global dairy and plant-based divisions.

Penchienati-Bosetta, who is currently CEO of international operations, will head up China and North Asia, along with specialized nutrition and waters categories. She will also be in charge of Danone’s global marketing and digital segments.

Finally, Juergen Esser, currently chief financial, technology and data officer, will remain in charge of those segments.

Sébastien Boyer (left) with Tjarko Leifer. Image credit: FarmWise

FarmWise guys

Sébastien Boyer, co-founder of agtech startup FarmWise, has handed the CEO torch over to long-time board member and advisor Tjarko Leifer.

“Farmwise is in amazing hands with Tjarko who was the unanimous pick from the board as we discuss my replacement,” Boyer wrote in a LinkedIn posting. “He has an outstanding track record leading AgTech start-ups to exceptional successes and after working closely with Tjarko for three years now, there is no one I would feel more excited about than him to take over the reins of the company.”

Tjarko’s agtech resume includes leadership roles at Arable Labs, Wellio (acquired by Kraft Heinz), and The Climate Corporation.

Boyer will assume a new title as chairman of the board at FarmWise.

CFO shuffle at Cargill

Following the appointment of a new CEO, agrifood giant Cargill announced CFO Jamie Miller was moving on to “accept an opportunity outside the company.” Ernst & Young released its own announcement stating that Miller was joining EY as Global CFO.

Back at Cargill, Joanne Knight is currently serving as acting CFO while the company searches for Miller’s permanent replacement. Knight is vice president of finance in Cargill’s agriculture supply-chain division in addition to her interim CFO role.

Moving beyond faux meat

Finally, Beyond Meat’s Beth Moskowitz has left her role as chief brand officer. Moskowitz was with the plant-based meat company for nearly a decade.

“I am an entrepreneur at heart and I look forward to returning to my roots as an investor, advisor, and creative partner,” she wrote on LinkedIn, adding that she will also focus on her family in 2023.

Her departure comes as Beyond grapples with the departure of other executives, layoffs, and lagging sales. Not to mention, general questions around the long-term promise of plant-based meat.

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