Impossible Foods Founder Pat Brown Steps Down, Chobani Exec Peter McGuinness Named CEO

Impossible Burger

Pat Brown, founder of Impossible Foods, will step down as CEO, CNBC reported Thursday (March 17), and Chobani’s departing operating chief, Peter McGuinness, will take the reins.

This comes after a turbulent two years for the plant-based meat industry, with Impossible and rival Beyond Meat both reporting strong sales in the early days of the pandemic, as meat shortages drove shoppers to substitutes.

However, recent months have seen a slowdown of sales in plant-based meats, raising concerns about growth in the longer term.

However, Impossible did see an 85% increase for its fourth quarter retail revenue.

McGuinness said the key to working with Impossible was “to make [its products] more available and more accessible to more people.” He’ll start at his position April 4.

Brown, who founded Impossible a decade ago, said in a letter that the growth of the company and the demands of helming the business have made other duties more difficult, including leading strategic initiatives and sharing the company’s overall mission.

“Given the momentum of our business, our accelerating product pipeline, ongoing international expansion and the magnitude of our mission, the leadership demands of the commercial business will inevitably continue to grow,” Brown wrote.

Brown will continue at Impossible as chief visionary officer and will report to the board.

PYMNTS wrote that Impossible Foods’ former CFO David Lee was hired by AppHarvest, an AgTech company, early in 2021.

See also: Impossible Foods CFO David Lee Goes To AppHarvest

AppHarvest’s goal is to build indoor farms, combining conventional agriculture techniques with innovative tech to grow affordable fruits and vegetables at scale.

Lee’s job is to develop strategy and work with managing operations, leading sales, marketing and finance functions.

Lee’s work with Impossible Foods started in 2015. According to a press release, he was credited with “significant growth accomplishments at Impossible Foods including securing more than $1.3 billion in funding to accelerate manufacturing, product development and distribution into key national grocery, restaurant, and hospitality venues.”