Hampton Creek, the US condiments maker behind the Just Mayo brand, has dismissed three executives accused of seeking to change the company’s corporate governance rules.
Lee Chae, Hampton Creek’s vice president of research and development; Sofia Elizondo, the company’s vice president of business development; and Jim Flatt, the chief technology officer have been fired with immediate effect.
Media outlets have reported allegations the three executives were engaged in a coup to take control from co-founder and CEO Josh Tetrick and place it in the hands of investors.
Speaking to just-food, Hampton Creek sought to play down the notion the moves by the now dismissed executives amounted to a coup.
A spokesperson for Hampton Creek said: “We recently discovered that three senior-level employees covertly and unsuccessfully sought to change our corporate governance, which in the process, would have stripped our employees of the autonomy to direct our long-term mission. Those individuals were dismissed effective immediately.
“In the months ahead, we’ll be launching groundbreaking products, bringing on new manufacturing partners, and significantly expanding our distribution. All of this depends on preserving our corporate governance structure. That’s why the actions we took were so important.”
just-food contacted Elizondo for comment. Chae and Flatt could not be reached for immediate comment.
Last month, Hampton Creek outlined a series of changes to its senior management.
Bloomberg reported Hampton Creek had been looking to cut costs and founder and claimed Tetrick had fired a number of his senior executives. The departures included Hampton Creek’s CFO, chief operations officer and human resources chief, who were dismissed late last month, the newswire reported.
Asked by just-food to detail the changes at Hampton Creek, a spokesperson for the company listed a number of “new and recent hires” at the company, including the arrival in two weeks’ time of Erez Simha in the new combined position of CFO and COO. Simha, who join Hampton Creek on 24 May, is COO and CFO of US-based 3D printing business Stratasys.