Motif FoodWorks, the Boston-based food technology company making plant-based foods better tasting and more nutritious, has announced that Michael Leonard has been appointed Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.

Read: June 2022 Issue of Food InfoTech Magazine.

Michael Leonard will lead the company’s focus on the acceleration of its go-to-market initiatives, including its recently launched meat alternative finished formats. Jonathan McIntyre, Motif’s previous CEO, will transition to an advisory role with the company.

“Motif has developed unique approaches to analyzing, discovering, and designing both plant-based ingredients and foods to better address unmet customer needs and tastes,” said Dr. Leonard. “I look forward to leading this business as we strengthen our position in the market and deepen our organizational focus on commercialization, technology development, and growth. The entire team at Motif thanks Jon for his outstanding leadership and contributions over the past three and a half years, and for his continued support of the company as we enter this new phase.”

Under McIntyre’s leadership, Motif FoodWorks has achieved several major milestones, from the development of the startup’s breakthrough food-tech, HEMAMI™ and APPETEX™, to its finished meat alternative formats and Motif’s successful series A and B fundraising rounds that raised a total of $345 million.

Leonard brings nearly two decades of experience in senior industrial science and technology roles in the specialty food ingredient and fast-moving consumer goods industries, with an emphasis on combining innovation, commercial execution, and organization-wide collaboration to deliver business results across developed and emerging markets. Prior to joining Motif, Leonard served as vice president for White Space Innovation and Springboard R&D at Kraft Heinz, where he led product, packaging and process development strategy and execution for emerging growth platforms across all categories of the business. Previously, Leonard was vice president of Process Technology for Global Snacks R&D at PepsiCo, in addition to leadership roles at DuPont Nutrition & Health and International Flavors & Fragrances in process and protein ingredient research, business development and strategy. He holds a PhD in Polymer Science & Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a BS in Chemistry from Roanoke College.

“It has been a privilege to lead Motif since its founding as we have pushed the boundaries of breakthrough food-technology development and pioneered new approaches to plant-based foods,” said Dr. McIntyre. “I am immensely proud of the work we have accomplished to advance Motif’s mission and propel the broader industry, and I look forward to my continued involvement with the team in an advisory capacity.”

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