Motif FoodWorks, an ingredient innovation company, today announced the appointment of Michael Leonard as Chief Technology Officer and Elizabeth King as VP, People & Culture. The strategic hires bring key technical and people expertise to Motif’s executive team as the company works to “defy expectations for what’s possible in animal-free ingredients and products.”
CEO Jon McIntyre said, “I’m delighted to welcome Michael Leonard and Elizabeth King to Motif; their collective skill sets and expertise will help us grow as a company, achieve the technological breakthroughs required to meet consumer demand in animal-free foods, and move the food industry forward.”
Michael Leonard, Chief Technology Officer
“The role of food in peoples’ lives is changing, and animal-free options are increasingly top of mind for many consumers,” said Leonard. “Motif is paving a new path for more functional, nutritionally meaningful, and sustainable ingredients and we’re just getting started. I’m excited to lead Motif’s technology efforts, which will be rooted in fundamental food science and driven by a consumer-focused mindset, to provide better food experiences for everyone.”
Previously, Leonard served as the Vice President and Head of R&D for White Space Innovation and Commercialization at Kraft Heinz, where he advanced the company’s innovation portfolio to better suit evolving consumer preferences. Prior to that, Leonard was the Vice President of Process Technology for Global Snacks R&D at PepsiCo, leading his team to deliver innovation across developing and emerging markets, including bringing the Doritos product platform to China. Leonard has also held leadership roles in process and protein ingredient research, platform management, business development, and strategy at International Flavors & Fragrances and DuPont Nutrition and Health. He holds Ph.D. and master’s degrees in Polymer Science & Engineering from the University of Massachusetts.
Elizabeth King, Chief People Officer
“Behind every successful company is a talented, engaged and fulfilled employee base. As Motif continues to grow, my main focus will be to create an environment where employees feel valued, motivated and connected to Motif’s primary objective: To develop more nutritious, accessible and sustainable animal-free ingredients,” said King. “I’m beyond excited to work with some of the industry’s most innovative leaders and build out a team that is passionate about food technology.”
With over 12 years of experience growing and cultivating strong corporate cultures, King has served as an HR leader in a number of companies such as Capsule8, Nuance Communications, BMC Software and RSA. She received her MBA from Babson College.
These hires come at a time of significant momentum for Motif, as the company announced an additional $27.5 million in funding this August to bolster ongoing R&D and partnership efforts and deepened their leadership bench by bringing on Janet Collins as Head of Regulatory, Government and Industry Affairs, Julie Post-Smith as Director of Business Development and Morgan Keim as Business Development Manager.