AgTech company AppHarvest has hired David Lee, former chief financial officer of Impossible Foods, to be president of the company, according to a press release. Lee will start at AppHarvest on Jan. 25.
AppHarvest is working to build indoor farms, combining the conventional agriculture technique with innovative tech to grow affordable fruits and vegetables at scale, the release stated. As president of AppHarvest, Lee will be in charge of developing strategy and working on managing operations, leading sales, marketing and finance functions as the company continues to grow.
Lee had worked with Impossible Foods since 2015 as chief financial officer, the release stated, and is “credited with significant growth accomplishments at Impossible Foods including securing more than $1.3 billion in funding to accelerate manufacturing, product development and distribution into key national grocery, restaurant, and hospitality venues.”
Lee also worked as chief operating officer for the company from 2015 to 2019, and he served on the board of directors, where he’ll continue to serve even as he works with AppHarvest, according to the release.
AppHarvest Founder and CEO Jonathan Webb said in the release that Lee brings “decades of experience across retail and consumer industries driving business transformation and optimizing organizational effectiveness from Del Monte to Zynga to Impossible Foods,” and said his skills would help “disrupt” traditional agriculture to help deliver “responsibly grown American products with social impact.”
The company expects to begin its first harvest from its flagship farm, which is a 60-acre facility growing tomatoes in Morehead, Kentucky, this month. There are other facilities in Kentucky, including a 15-acre location to develop leafy greens, the release stated.
Lee said in the release that the company offers a “unique solution to building a more resilient and responsible food system.”
“I have seen firsthand that when given sustainable options, consumers will be the market force that helps address climate change and food supply issues, ensuring success of companies that are putting the planet first, and I am eager to invest my time in a mission-driven company with so much potential to grow,” he said in the release.
Lee, speaking with PYMNTS last year, said Impossible Foods is working to address the fact that the planet is unable to take much more meat consumption at the current rates, and that the field can and should have more than one company competing to put out plant-based meat products.