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October 14, 2022

Beyond Meat COO Doug Ramsey exits after allegedly biting man

The US alt-meat group today (14 October) confirmed the departure of Ramsey, who the company suspended following the alleged altercation.

By Dean Best

Beyond Meat COO Doug Ramsey, suspended by the alt-meat supplier last month after allegedly biting a man’s nose, has left the US group.

Ramsey was arrested on 17 September after an alleged altercation following a University of Arkansas football game in Fayetteville.

Four days after the arrest – on charges of “terroristic threatening” and third-degree battery – Beyond Meat suspended Ramsey, who had joined the business in December last year from US meat giant Tyson Foods.

In an SEC filing today, the Beyond Burger brand owner said Ramsey had left the firm. “Mr. Ramsey’s last day of employment with the company is October 14, 2022,” the filing read.

Jonathan Nelson, who had stepped in to assume Ramsey’s responsibilities after the initial suspension, “will lead operations and supply chain, now on a permanent basis” as Beyond Meat’s senior vice president, operations, the company added.

The news of Ramsey’s departure came as Beyond Meat again cut its sales forecast and axed hundreds of jobs.

Nasdaq-listed Beyond Meat said today (14 October) it had eliminated 200 jobs, with president and CEO Ethan Brown citing “current economic conditions” for the lay-offs.

Third-quarter sales are expected to be down 23% on last year at US$82m. For fiscal 2022 as a whole, revenue will likely be 9-14% lower after Beyond Meat cut its forecasted sales to $400-425m.

In August, when the company revealed a separate, unspecified number of job losses from its more than 1,000-strong global workforce, the outlook was $470-520m, a cut in itself from a previous estimate of $560-620m.

The fresh cuts are the latest in a spate of negative announcements for the alternative-meat category in the US.

Last week, privately-owned Impossible Foods, confirmed “fewer than 50” staff had been let go as part of a restructuring exercise under new CEO Peter McGuinness. However, the Impossible Burger maker was more sanguine over its own growth prospects.

Staff are also destined for the chopping block at Planterra Foods’ Denver factory as JBS, the Brazilian real meat major behind the plant-based business, said it was pulling the plug on the venture just two years after launch.

Just Food analysis, September 2022: Spectre raised of plant-based meat fragility as Very Good Food goes on the market

Just Food analysis, December 2021: Is US plant-based meat market facing inflection point or short-term blip?

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