US organic beef supplier Verde Farms has announced that its current president, Brad Johnson, is to become its CEO.
He replaces founder Dana Ehrlich, who is stepping down as CEO to focus on “broader industry initiatives”.
The Massachusetts-based business, which has a product portfolio including ground beef, steak, burgers and stew packs, said Johnson will be responsible for all the day-to-day operations of the company, its strategic vision, and “continuing to build a winning culture”.
Johnson was hired as Verde Farms’ president last year. The company said since then he has expanded branded distribution and increased profitability, without providing figures.
Ehrlich plans to dedicate more time to championing the importance of regenerative agriculture and the health benefits of organic, grass-fed beef.
He will be expanding his involvement with industry organisations. In December, Ehrlich was elected vice chair of the Meat Importers Council of America and became a board member of the National Association of Meat Importers
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He will remain a member of Verde’s board of directors.
On Johnson’s appointment, Ehrlich said: “I am excited for this next phase of Verde, leading the organic beef and regenerative agriculture movement.
“As we continue to redefine what ‘Beef From A Better Place’ truly means, my confidence in Brad as the newly appointed CEO is unwavering, and I am certain he is the right leader to guide the company towards even greater heights in our mission for a more sustainable and responsible future in the beef industry.”
Verde Farms, which supplies the retail, club, and foodservice channels, has also announced the appointment of Rod Masters as its new vice president of sales. He has more than 30 years of experience in CPG industry sales, including his recent role as vice president of retail sales at Hungry Planet.
In February 2020, Colorado-based private-equity firm Manna Tree Partners announced it had made a $15m minority investment in Verde Farms.
Steve Young, Manna Tree’s managing partner, said: “Under Dana’s influential leadership as CEO, a robust foundation has been established and we value his significant contributions. As we embark on this new phase with Brad at the helm, we are confident in his leadership abilities to guide Verde Farms into the next chapter.”