Press and Media
Sustainable Bioproducts prepares for commercial launch with team of veteran food and biotech executives
Executives with experience from Kraft, P&G, Leo Burnett, LanzaTech and Cargill join alternative protein company’s Board of Directors and leadership team
CHICAGO, August 13, 2019 — Sustainable Bioproducts (SBP), a food company seeking to revolutionize the alternative protein market with breakthrough biotechnology, is bolstering its Board of Directors and management team with leading food and biotech executives. These industry veterans will bring unparalleled expertise to the company in both marketing consumer products and scaling biotechnology as SBP prepares for the commercial launch of its products.
“The most recent UN report on climate change and food reinforces the urgency to drastically rethink our current protein supply chain,” said Co-founder and CEO Thomas Jonas. “The good news is that we’ve discovered in nature a solution to this challenge and have developed a breakthrough fermentation technology to scale it. Today, we’re accelerating our efforts by assembling a team of top executives with experience running some of the world’s most successful food and biotech companies. These thought partners will be invaluable as we continue on our mission to create delicious, innovative foods that are just as good for you as they are for our planet.”
Former Kraft Foods CEO Tony Vernon has joined SBP’s Board of Directors. In his tenure as CEO, Mr. Vernon oversaw Kraft Foods Group’s spin-off from the company now known as Mondelēz International. He also served on the board of WhiteWave Foods – the company behind household alternative protein brands Silk and So Delicious. WhiteWave was acquired by Danone, an SBP investor, in 2017. Prior to Kraft, Mr. Vernon spent over 20 years with Johnson & Johnson in leadership roles at McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Nutritionals. His deep experience also includes serving on the board of McCormick & Company, a global leader in flavor as well as the boards of several biotech startups.
LanzaTech CEO Jennifer Holmgren has also joined SBP’s Board of Directors. Dr. Holmgren brings deep expertise in the development and commercialization of renewable technologies and biotech. This year, on the heels of a successful global commercialization effort with partners in China, Fast Company named LanzaTech among the World’s Most Innovative Companies for its carbon recycling technology. Previously, Dr. Holmgren spent 22 years at Honeywell/UOP where she founded and ran their Renewable Energy and Chemicals division. A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Dr. Holmgren holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Karuna Rawal has joined SBP as Chief Marketing Officer. Previously President, Groupe Client Lead at Leo Burnett/Publicis Groupe, Ms. Rawal was the lead strategist for Procter & Gamble’s Emmy Award-winning “#LikeAGirl” campaign. A seasoned storyteller with more than 25 years of experience building iconic food brands at P&G and at Leo Burnett, she will launch and market new alternative protein lines for SBP.
Jim Millis has joined the company as Chief Technology Officer. An industrial biotech veteran, Mr. Millis has served as CTO of BioAmber and, earlier, Technical Director of Industrial Bioproducts at Cargill. With a proven track record in bringing first-of-its-kind technologies to industrial scale, Mr. Millis oversees SBP’s R&D, engineering, and manufacturing efforts.
Andrew Chung, Founder and Managing Partner at 1955 Capital and an SBP board director, said, “The exploding global demand for alternative proteins shows that consumers are open to and craving healthier and more diverse food choices.” Mr. Chung added, “SBP’s versatile proteins will unlock new possibilities in animal-free foods within this fast-growing market. We are excited about the company’s progress and the very experienced, globally-minded team assembled to bring SBP’s products to market.”