Miyoko’s Creamery has installed former Beyond Meat and Coca-Cola executive Stuart Kronauge to lead the US-based alternative-dairy business as CEO.
Most recently the chief executive of The Juice Plus+ Company in Tennessee, Kronauge takes the helm at Miyoko’s Creamery from Jon Blair.
Blair joined the company as finance chief in March 2022 before becoming interim president, and effectively acting CEO, of the business in February following the departure of founder and chief executive Miyoko Schinner last year, an episode that erupted into a legal dispute.
Before The Juice Plus+ Company, Kronauge served as chief marketing officer of US meat-free pioneer Beyond Meat. She also spent 20 years at The Coca-Cola Company in various roles, including marketing and president of the drinks company’s US operations.
“Stewarding the next era of the leading plant milk dairy brand is a serendipitous next step in my career and personal journey, as a plant-based eater myself,” Kronauge said in a statement today (1 August).
“Organically a Miyoko’s loyalist for many years, I’m enthused to continue the important mission and core values of craft, compassion, conviviality and courage on which the company was founded.”
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Schinner set up what was then Miyoko’s Kitchen in Pateluma, California, in 2014 to produce plant-based organic cheeses made from cashew nuts before branching out into butter and cream cheese.
However, in February the company announced it had “parted ways” with the founder “as the company enters a new stage of growth”.
A legal battle ensued before a settlement was reached between the parties in May, with Miyoko’s Creamery and Schinner posting the same statement on LinkedIn.
“Miyoko’s Creamery and Miyoko Schinner are pleased that they have resolved all legal disputes between them and that they have withdrawn all legal claims made against each other,” it read.
Today’s statement from the company credited Kronauge as bringing “decades of experience and knowledge in navigating the food and beverage landscape to Miyoko’s Creamery and looks forward to advancing the accessibility of plant-based products”.
James Joaquin, a co-founder at Obvious Ventures, the US investor that took part in a $52m Series C funding round in Miyoko’s Creamery in 2021, said Kronauge will lead the “brand through its next exciting chapter”.
He added: “Her passion for the industry and operational skillset, coupled with her mission-based approach, allows for great momentum and brand growth in a category that continues to celebrate innovation and new disruptors.”