Chobani executive replaces Impossible Foods founder as CEO

Former Chobani president, Peter McGuinness, will step into the role of Impossible Foods chief executive officer beginning April 4.

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(Impossible Foods)
(Impossible Foods)

Former Chobani president, Peter McGuinness, will step into the role of Impossible Foods chief executive officer beginning April 4.

The role was previously held by Pat Brown, the plant-based manufacturer’s founder and author of a recent PLOS study that claims current meat production practices will cause a climate catastrophe. Brown will now serve as chief visionary officer for Impossible Foods, where he will lead strategic initiatives for the company including research and technology innovation, public advocacy and the company mission.

“Peter and I will work together to lead Impossible and its long-term strategy, combining our complementary strengths and experience,” Brown wrote in a letter published on the company’s website.

“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.”

In 2021, Impossible Foods introduced Impossible Chicken Nuggets, a soy-based meat alternative. The plant-based foods market is set to make up 7.7% of the global protein market by 2030, with a value of $162 billion, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence

Despite this, analysts have reported a slowdown in plant-based meat sales, attributed to the significant increase of players in the market and high prices of meat alternatives.

Plant-based evolution

McGuinness emphasized that the transition occurred not because the plant-based manufacturer was struggling, but to help the company continue to evolve into new markets.

“The key with Impossible, with all of its great innovation, is to make [its products] more available and more accessible to more people,” McGuinness said in an interview with CNBC.

“The company is in a great spot, by the way — I’m not coming in to fix anything, I’m coming in to try to help the company grow more than it’s already grown,” he added.

McGuinness is no stranger to the plant-based market. He began working for Chobani in 2013, piloting the company’s expansion into oat milk, coffee creamers and other plant-based categories.

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