Sector News

Hampton Creek’s board quits en masse

July 20, 2017
Food & Drink

Josh Tetrick, the co-founder and CEO of controversial food startup Hampton Creek, is now the sole member of its board.

At least four directors have left the board in June over apparent “deep discord” with Tetrick, Bloomberg reported.

The publication noted “at least five directors” have left; however, a Hampton Creek spokesperson said that the fifth and additional sixth director—one from Horizons Venture and Marc Benioff—had both left about a year ago.

Tetrick now sits alone on the board, according to the report. Hampton Creek board members who recently left included a number of high-profile food and tech executives such as Google DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman and Khosla Ventures partner Samir Kaul as well as former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Tetrick put a rosier tint on the departures, describing the move as a strategy to give staff more power, in an emailed statement to Bloomberg. The departed board members have transitioned to an advisory role, according to a spokesman.

Hampton Creek has had a volatile ride since launching in 2011. The company and its eggless mayo attracted interest and investments from Silicon Valley that helped push its valuation to unicorn status of $1.1 billion.

It’s also been embroiled in numerous legal battles with regulators, food companies, and trade associations over health claims of its products. And its image took another hit after Bloomberg BusinessWeek published a detailed article in September that showed company employees bought back large quantities of Hampton Creek products at retail outlets, which in turn inflated sales numbers.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice closed inquiries into this incident in March.

Controversies surrounding the company have continued to pop up. The latest was just last month when Target said it was voluntarily removing all Hampton Creek products from store shelves, including its popular eggless mayonnaise Just Mayo brand, after allegations of food safety issues. Hampton Creek denied the claims, telling Fortune at the time, “The allegations that our products are mislabeled and unsafe are false.”

By Kirsten Korosec

Source: Fortune

Related News

September 21, 2020

Alpro announces 30m euro investment and new sustainability goals

Food & Drink

Alpro has unveiled a new five-year health and sustainability action plan, as well as plans to invest €30m in two of its production sites. The objectives laid out by the company, […]

September 18, 2020

Cargill to advance regenerative agriculture practices across 10m acres of farmland

Food & Drink

Cargill has announced that it is supporting farmer-led efforts to adopt regenerative agriculture practices on 10 million acres of crop land in North America by 2030. The initiative will focus primarily […]

September 17, 2020

PepsiCo pilots invisible digital watermark technology to boost recycling

Food & Drink

PepsiCo is trialling products encoded with invisible digital watermarks for more effective recycling. The technology is pegged as the “holy grail” that will make mechanical sorting more efficient. The beverage […]