REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Impossible Foods announced today the hiring of technology marketing veteran Tara Kriese to lead the food startup’s growing marketing division and serve on the company’s leadership team.
Kriese, who will join Impossible Foods Oct. 23, was most recently Chief Marketing Officer at the Canadian wearable tech startup Thalmic Labs, where she oversaw all marketing and communications efforts for the company, developed the go-to-market a future product release, opened the company’s San Francisco office, and built the marketing and retail organization. Under Tara’s leadership, Thalmic was named a 2017 Breakthrough Brand by Interbrand.
Previously, Kriese was Senior Director and Head of Marketing for Samsung Electronics America. She served on the senior leadership team, reporting directly to the Chief Marketing Officer, where she led U.S. marketing efforts for Samsung's virtual reality portfolio, launching Gear VR, Gear 360 and the Samsung VR service. She is credited as the strategist behind Samsung's significant market share growth and resulting category leadership position in VR. She also oversaw development of consumer positioning framework for Galaxy+ ecosystem of products and led several strategic brand partnerships.
From 2005-2012, Kriese held numerous marketing positions with increasing responsibility at Microsoft, including brand architecture, strategy and product positioning. She worked on products such as Windows Live Messenger, MSN, Microsoft Media Network and Bing. She’s also served on the marketing teams for Digital Products at Amazon and AOL, where she led brand marketing for AIM.
“Tara is a marketing strategist who isn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves. She has a wide range of professional experiences, from launching guerilla campaigns to developing sophisticated go-to-market strategies -- at both startups and major multinationals,” said David Lee, Impossible Foods’ Chief Operating Officer. “I’m confident she’ll accelerate our growth and be an invaluable asset to our leadership team.”
Impossible Foods: Scale Starts Now
Kriese will be in charge of brand, marketing and the evolution of the company’s go-to-market strategy as Impossible Foods ramps up. The company launched production in September at its first large-scale manufacturing plant, in Oakland, Calif.
As the Oakland plant ramps up over the next several quarters, Impossible Foods will expand distribution to thousands of restaurants in the United States and overseas. The company is also developing additional plant-based meat and dairy products.
Kriese is the latest executive to join Impossible Foods.
In September, Marcella Butler became Impossible Foods’ first Chief People Officer, reporting directly to Impossible Foods CEO and Founder Dr. Patrick O. Brown. The Dallas native was previously head of human resources at publicly traded enterprise software company Opower and before that at financial tech startup Think Finance. From 2007-2012, she held numerous posts at Google overseeing corporate development and human resources.
In June, Dr. David J. Lipman, M.D., joined the company in the newly created role of Chief Science Officer, reporting directly to the CEO. In May, food industry veteran Chris Gregg took over as Senior Vice President of Supply Chain and Manufacturing, overseeing operations for manufacturing and supply chain.
Big taste, small footprint
In development since 2011, the Impossible Burger is the world's only burger that handles, smells, cooks and tastes like ground beef from cows -- but is made entirely from plants.
The Impossible Burger is produced without hormones, antibiotics, cholesterol or artificial flavors. It uses about 75% less water, generates about 87% fewer greenhouse gases, and requires around 95% less land than conventional ground beef from cows.
The Impossible Burger is made from simple ingredients found in nature, including water, wheat, coconut oil and potatoes. One special ingredient -- heme -- contributes to the characteristic taste of meat and catalyzes all the other flavors when meat is cooked. Impossible Foods discovered how to get heme from plants, transforming the Impossible Burger into a carnivore’s delight that’s light on the planet.
The company’s flagship product, the Impossible Burger, debuted at Chef David Chang’s Momofuku Nishi in Manhattan last year and is now served in more than 100 restaurants nationwide. Click here for a full list of restaurants that serve the Impossible Burger.
About Impossible Foods:
Based in Redwood City, Calif., Impossible Foods makes delicious, nutritious meat and dairy products directly from plants -- with a much smaller environmental footprint than meat from animals. The privately held company was founded in 2011 by Patrick O. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., formerly a biochemistry professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Stanford University. Investors include Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, Google Ventures, Horizons Ventures, UBS, Viking Global Investors, Temasek and Open Philanthropy Project.