Impossible Foods CEO Steps Aside

Image courtesy of Impossible Foods.

Impossible Foods is undergoing a leadership change, according to a blog post from Pat Brown, CEO & Founder.

Brown himself is stepping down as CEO, and ceding the position to Peter McGuinness, President and COO of Chobani, as of April 4. Brown will retain his role as Founder and Director, and take on the role of Chief Visionary Officer, reporting to the Board of Directors, leading research and technology innovation, strategic initiatives, public advocacy, and the company mission.

The reason for this change? Brown wrote that Impossible’s business growth has demanded more and more time from him, decreasing the amount of time he is able to spend working on strategy, communication of the company mission, and guiding innovation. Looking back on Impossible’s growth, Brown wrote that for the first five years of the company’s existence, it was effectively a research operation—a team of scientists trying to figure out how to create a meat mimic using only plants and fermentation. In 2016, that R&D gave rise to the actual product, and began selling it. The business has grown: The products are now sold in more than 40,000 restaurants across three continents and 25,000 supermarkets, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue and 85% growth in quarterly retail revenue at the end of 2021. The business also launched several products last year—Impossible Chicken Nuggets, Impossible Pork, Impossible Sausage, and Impossible Meatballs.

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Looking to the future, Brown foresees accelerating business growth, and therefore further leadership demand, hence the splitting of his role into two. McGuinness, Brown says, is the right person for the job.

“Having now spent many hours in conversation with Peter,” Brown wrote, “I and the rest of the Impossible leadership team and our board of directors are excited and confident that he is the right person for this role. He’s committed to our mission, he loves our brand and products, he shares our values, and he’s a proven leader with years of experience leading an innovative and rapidly growing food brand.”