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September 26, 2022

Beyond Meat loses supply-chain chief days after COO arrested for biting man’s face

Bernie Adcock steps down in tumultuous week for the plant-based foods producer.

By Jessica Broadbent

Beleaguered plant-based food producer Beyond Meat has lost a second senior executive days after it suspended its chief operating officer.

Bernie Adcock will step down as chief supply chain officer at the end of the month “to pursue another opportunity”, the US company announced on Friday.

Adcock joined the California-based meat-alternatives supplier in 2021 after eight years as chief supply chain officer at meat processing giant Tyson Foods. He handed in his resignation last Tuesday, 20 September, an SEC filing states.

Beyond Meat said Adcock’s role will not be replaced and his responsibilities will be taken over by Jonathan Nelson, the company’s senior vice president of manufacturing operations.

Nelson, 57, joined Beyond Meat in May 2021 after almost a decade managing operations at plant-based food and beverage producer SunOpta. He acted as Beyond Meat’s interim COO between May and November 2021.

To add even more pressure to Nelson’s workload, he was last week also tasked with filling in as COO after Douglas Ramsey was arrested, and consequently suspended, for allegedly biting a man’s face.

Beyond Meat suspended Ramsey after his arrest for reportedly punching another driver and biting his nose after a University of Arkansas American football game in Fayetteville.

The 53-year-old was arrested on 17 September on charges of “terroristic threatening” and third-degree battery and was released on 18 September on a US$11,085 bond, Washington County court records show. He is due to appear in court on 19 October.

Ramsey previously also worked at Tyson, where he oversaw the company’s poultry and McDonald’s business units across a three-decade career. He joined Beyond Meat as COO in December last year. Upon his appointment, Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown said Ramsey had “a proven track record of impressive operational excellence in the protein industry”.

It comes as Beyond Meat’s share price continues to flounder amid broader concerns about the growth of the plant-based meat market in the US. Its stock dipped to US$14.7 on Friday and has plummeted 36.71% in the past month alone and 86.16% in the past year.

The company was last month forced to cut jobs and slash its revenue forecast against a backdrop of cash-strapped consumers trading down to lower-priced products.

Beyond Meat said it expects 2022 sales to be in the US$470m to $520m range, compared to its prior steer of $560m to $620m.

It also anticipates it will have to let 4% of its global workforce of more than 1,000 go.

Beyond Meat was contacted for comment.

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

More Just Food sector analysis here: Is US plant-based meat market facing inflection point or short-term blip?

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