Motif FoodWorks, an ingredient innovation company, has announced the appointment of Michael Leonard as chief technology officer. As the CTO and senior vice president of R&D, 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.

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. He holds PhD and MS in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts. Leonard is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists.

“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.”

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