Appoints Industry Leader Michael Leonard as Chief Technology Officer, Elizabeth King as VP, People & Culture to Scale Company Product and Talent Pipeline

BOSTON, Oct. 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ – 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. Leonard and King will report directly to CEO Jon McIntyre.

“At Motif, we know there can be no compromise on the taste, nutrition and values behind our ingredients. We also know how important it is to prioritize building a team that shares our values and passion for creating a better food experience,” said McIntyre. “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

As the Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President, Research and Development, Leonard will draw on over 16 years of industrial science and technology experience to lead Motif’s technical strategy and build the company’s R&D capabilities. Leveraging a deep food industry background, Leonard will also oversee the company’s industry and academic partnership efforts, to accelerate Motif’s product pipeline and food application development.

“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, VP, People & Culture

As a seasoned human resources professional who has worked for both fast-paced start-ups and small- to mid-sized companies, King will apply her experience to build a high-performing work culture and cultivate a robust talent pipeline to attract and develop top food scientists and enthusiasts.

“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.

Motif is pioneering the discovery of innovative ingredients that improve human health and animal welfare while reducing the environmental impact of animal agriculture. For more information about Motif FoodWorks, visit

Motif is pioneering the discovery of innovative ingredients that improve human health and animal welfare while reducing the environmental impact of animal agriculture. For more information about Motif FoodWorks, visit


Motif FoodWorks is an ingredients innovation company dedicated to reshaping the landscape of food through science and technology. It offers sustainable alternative proteins and wide-ranging ingredient solutions for innovative food producers. For more information, visit

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Matt Roszell