Impossible Foods announced that Dennis Woodside has joined the food technology startup in the newly created role of president, effective March 18.
Woodside most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of Dropbox, where he was responsible for all customer-facing functions and revenue generation. Before that, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Motorola Mobility, a $10 billion mobile device company, after its acquisition by Google. He worked at Google from 2003-2012, overseeing more than $10 billion in sales in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, among other leadership roles.
Woodside currently serves on the boards of ServiceNow and the American Red Cross. He graduated from Cornell University and Stanford Law School.
“After an exhaustive search to fill a critical position, Dennis stood out for his proven track record of turning startups into transformative corporations,” says Impossible Foods’ CEO, Chairman and Founder Dr. Patrick O. Brown, Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at Stanford University and a former Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. “Dennis is also a 14-time Ironman Triathlon finisher, so I know he has the discipline and endurance to go the distance for Impossible Foods.”
Woodside will oversee Impossible Foods’ operations, manufacturing, supply chain, sales, marketing, HR and other functions. Impossible Foods employs about 350 people, mostly in the Redwood City headquarters and at its first manufacturing facility in Oakland.
“I love what Impossible Foods is doing: using science and technology to deliver delicious and nutritious foods that people love, in an environmentally sustainable way,” Woodside adds. “I’m equally thrilled to focus on providing the award-winning Impossible Burger and future products to millions of consumers, restaurants and retailers.”
Woodside is the latest high-profile appointment at Impossible Foods. Earlier this month, Impossible Foods announced the appointment of its seventh board member, Vanessa Wittman, a former public-company chief financial officer now serving as chair of Impossible Foods’ audit committee.
Woodside and Wittman’s appointments come at a critical moment in Impossible Foods’ growth trajectory.
Earlier this year, Impossible Foods launched its first product upgrade at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), where “Impossible Burger 2.0” took home the show’s highest honors, including “Best of the Best,” “Most Impactful Product,” and “Most Unexpected Product.” Impossible Burger’s first product upgrade since its 2016 public debut was also hailed as the tech show’s “Best Product Launch” and a “Triumph of Food Engineering.”
Impossible Burger is now served at thousands of restaurants across the United States, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore. Later this year, the plant-based Impossible Burger is expected to debut in grocery stores in the United States.
Impossible Foods uses modern science and technology to create wholesome and nutritious food, help restore natural ecosystems, and feed a growing population sustainably. The company makes meat from plants – with a much smaller environmental footprint than meat from animals.
To satisfy the global demand for meat at a fraction of the environmental impact, Impossible Foods developed a far more sustainable, scalable, and affordable way to make meat, without the catastrophic environmental impact of livestock.
Shortly after its founding in 2011, Impossible Foods’ scientists discovered that one molecule—“heme”—is uniquely responsible for the explosion of flavors that results when meat is cooked. Impossible Foods’ scientists genetically engineer and ferment yeast to produce a heme protein naturally found in plants, called soy leghemoglobin.
The heme in Impossible Burger is identical to the essential heme humans have been consuming for hundreds of thousands of years in meat—and while the Impossible Burger delivers all the craveable depth of beef, it uses far fewer resources because it’s made from plants, not animals.
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