Natural Products  February 21, 2024

Meati replaces co-founder as CEO, lays off more workers

BOULDER — Boulder-based Meati Foods, which has developed a process for making food from mushroom roots, has moved its co-founder out of the CEO role, replacing Tyler Huggins with its newly hired chief financial officer.

Meati, the trade name for Emergy Inc., also recently laid off an undisclosed number of employees, its third round of jobs cuts in the last year. 

Phil Graves, who was hired about a month ago as Meati’s CFO, is now the company’s new CEO. Graves was most recently CEO at Wild Idea Buffalo Co., a sustainable buffalo meat company. His resume also includes stints as chief sustainability office at Bass Pro Shops and vice president of corporate development at Patagonia.

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Huggins will now serve as Meati’s chief innovation officer. 

“I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved to date, and I am confident that in Phil we have found the right individual to lead the company to our next exciting chapter,” Huggins said in a prepared statement. “I am eager to support Phil, while leaning into my own strengths and take MushroomRoot to the next level.”

Meati did not disclose details about the layoffs, but the Denver Business Journal reported on Tuesday that the cuts accounted for 13% of its workforce.

The company in September 2023 laid off 60 people, then reassigned 30 of them, for a net 10% reduction in its workforce. That move came after a staffing reduction of 5%, or 17 people, last June. 

In a statement Tuesday, Graves said that “while these types of changes always present a challenge for growth companies, they are essential for aligning resources with profitability objectives and follow precedents set by other leading companies navigating transformative market shifts.”

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