Hampton Creek is in the news again — and not for the reasons it would like to be. Hampton Creek’s entire board of directors have left, except for CEO Josh Tetrick.
Five board members have left, many in the last month, after some serious disagreement with how Tetrick was running things, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the departures. They include Bon Appétit Management Co. co-founder and CEO Fedele Bauccio, former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Google DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman, Khosla Ventures partner Samir Kaul and Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Horizon Ventures representative Bart Swanson. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff’s wife Lynne stepped down from the board last year.
Though, Hampton Creek disputes the report, saying the departures were more of a transition to advisors and that Horizon and Benioff have “not been on the board for quite some time.”
Tetrick told TechCrunch the changes are part of a move to ensure “our employees maintain their ability to direct our mission,” saying it is, “as critical as the technologies we deploy and the products we launch. We will always protect this principle.”
We’ve reached out, but none of the outgoing directors have gotten back to us at this time, although Hampton Creek has furnished TechCrunch with a joint statement from the outgoing members of the board.
“We continue to fully support Hampton Creek and its CEO Josh in their exciting and important mission to change the food industry for the better of all people. We will advise Josh and the team on strategies across all areas of its business moving forward,” the statement reads.
Hampton Creek has been hit with numerous issues in the last few years. Most recently, Target announced it would be pulling all of the company’s products off its shelves due to safety and labeling concerns. Hampton Creek was also accused of orchestrating an undercover buyback scheme where employees bought back its products to boost sales numbers, prompting a federal inquiry. However, those accusations were proven false and the investigation has ended, according to Tetrick.
The CEO also fired several top executives in April, after fundraising struggles. Three other senior leaders left the company shortly after Tetrick says he discovered them trying to limit his power in the company.