USA- Food tech company Benson Hill has named Adrienne (Deanie) Elsner as an interim chief executive officer succeeding Matt Crisp, who has agreed to resign as CEO, effective immediately, as the company’s pursuit for a permanent CEO begins.
Crisp will remain with the company for 12 months as a consultant to the board to help facilitate a smooth transition for the food technology company, which includes a thriving Ingredients segment focused on soybean and yellow pea innovation.
The company said the board is banking on the assistance of an executive search firm to evaluate internal and external candidates carefully, and Adrienne Elsner will be leading the team in the meantime.
Elsner has been a member of the board of directors at Benson Hill since May 2019 and is on the board of directors for Owens Corning, a Fortune 500 industrial company.
Her most recent executive position was CEO of the marijuana extract products company Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. from May 2019 to January 2022.
Before that, she spent more than three years as president of the snacks business unit at Kellogg Co.
Elsner was also working with Kraft Foods for more than 23 years in various roles, including executive vice president and chief marketing officer, before working at Kellogg.
Additionally, she worked at Quaker Oats Co., Johnson & Johnson, and Procter & Gamble.
Elsner holds a master of business administration degree in finance and marketing from the University of Chicago and a bachelor of science in business from the University of Arizona.
“It is a privilege to take on the role of interim CEO of Benson Hill. Benson Hill has grown tremendously since 2012, using its proprietary data and technology, making key investments to build out its unique model, and bringing innovative products made better from the beginning to market. I look forward to working with the board and the Benson Hill team to enable the company to reach its full potential.” Elsner said.
Mr. Crisp commented that the company has a strong foundation on which Elsner will continue leading the team.
“I know I am leaving the Company in capable hands, and I intend to work closely with Deanie to ensure a smooth transition for our stakeholders. It has been an honor to work alongside the creative and dedicated Benson Hill team, and I thank them for their commitment to Being Bold and supporting me and the Company for the past eleven years,” he remarked.
The board of directors expressed their belief in Elsner’s capabilities when it comes to leading the team and thanked Mr. Crisp for his dedication to building up the company to what it is today.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I’d like to thank Matt for his contributions to Benson Hill. Since co-founding the Company over a decade ago, Matt has helped establish Benson Hill’s vision and led the Company to where it is today,” said Dan Jacobi, Chairman of the Benson Hill Board of Directors.
In the same breath, Benson Hill also named Richard Mack as an independent director of the company’s board of directors effective immediately, bringing “nearly 30 years of agribusiness leadership experience to the Benson Hill board.”