PepsiCo veteran joins cultured chicken startup

PepsiCo veteran joins cultured chicken startup

BERKELEY, CALIF. — Upside Foods, the cellular agriculture company formerly known as Memphis Meats, has named Amy Chen as its first chief operating officer. Ms. Chen will be responsible for leading global strategy and commercial functions, including sales and marketing, finance and operations, product development, food safety and public policy.

Ms. Chen joins Upside Foods following a decade-long career at PepsiCo, Inc., most recently as senior vice president at PepsiCo Beverages North America. Previously, she was chief marketing officer for PepsiCo’s snacks business in the Greater China Region. She also held various sales, operations, strategy and innovation roles at the company. Prior to PepsiCo, she co-founded and launched Food for Good, a social business incubator. She also was a charter member of PepsiCo’s Human Rights Operating Committee.

“We needed a proven leader with global food experience to match our global ambitions, and an equally deep commitment to our mission to make meat that is better for the world. Amy is exactly that,” said Uma Valeti, chief executive officer and founder of Upside Foods. “Bringing Amy into our executive team reflects Upside Foods’ shift in focus from research and development to a consumer and commercial organization, and we are thrilled to welcome her to our team of Upsiders.”

Ms. Chen’s hiring comes as Upside Foods prepares to launch its first consumer product, Upside Chicken. The company develops methods to cultivate meat directly from animal cells without needing to breed or slaughter animals. It introduced what it claims is the world’s first cultured poultry just over four years ago and plans to bring it to market this year, pending regulatory review.