John Melo has nearly three decades of combined experience as an entrepreneur and thought leader in the global fuels industry and technology innovation. As President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Melo has led Amyris through successful technology development, industrial start up, product development and commercialization and a series of funding rounds, including the initial public offering. Before joining Amyris in 2007, Mr. Melo served in various senior executive positions at BP Plc (formerly British Petroleum), one of the world’s largest energy firms, from 1997 to 2006, most recently as President of U.S. fuels operations where he successfully led a business transformation and significantly improved the financial performance. During his tenure at BP, Mr. Melo also served as Chief Information Officer of the refining and marketing segment; Senior Advisor for e-business strategy to Lord Browne, BP group chief executive; and Director of global brand development. In this last role, he helped develop the “Helios” re-branding effort. Before joining BP, Mr. Melo was with Ernst & Young. Mr. Melo currently serves on the board of directors of Renmatix Inc. and on the Bio Industrial and Environmental section governing board and also on the board of the California Life Sciences Association. He is a member of the Council for the Portuguese Diaspora, a member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and he was formerly an appointed member to the U.S. section of the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum. When not working on the mission of making sustainable chemistry mainstream or championing the eradication of malaria, John enjoys skiing, reading and time with his family on the island of Pico in the Azores, his childhood home.
Kathleen Valiasek joined Amyris as Chief Financial Officer in January 2017. Her results-driven background includes specific areas of expertise in finance, strategic planning, debt and equity financing, business development, and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining Amyris, Valiasek was Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lenox Group, Inc., a finance and strategic consulting firm where she worked closely with the senior management teams of fast-growing companies including start-ups, venture-backed and Fortune 500 companies. She has deep experience across diverse industries including life sciences, tech, retail, telecommunications, and healthcare. Prior to her role at Lenox Group, she served in key venture capital, real estate development and accounting roles. Valiasek holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Eduardo Alvarez joined Amyris as Chief Operating Officer in October 2017. He has over 30 years of global operations experience both running and advising growth companies. Previously, he served as Global Operations Strategy Leader for PwC. During his tenure, he co-led the integration of his prior company, Booz & Company, following its acquisition by PwC. In his role, he grew operations into a global practice with $1.5 billion in revenue and 4,000 employees. His assignments focused on delivering structural cost improvements while also driving sustained revenue growth. His experience also includes roles at Booz Allen Hamilton, General Electric and AT&T. Alvarez holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering in computer control and manufacturing from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan. He is a board member of The Chicago Council of Global Affairs.
As Amyris Chief People Officer, Christine Ofori is responsible for leading and integrating all facets of Amyris’s HR goals, including people strategy and enhancement of company culture in order to deliver and enable business growth. Christine brings many years of HR leadership experience to Amyris, including successful integration of people, technologies, processes and cultures. Most recently, Christine served as Vice President of Human Resources at Amyris where she guided all aspects of employee development, staffing and business partnering. Prior to that, she spent over eight years with Equinix, Inc. as Senior Director, Human Resources supporting the Americas Region. Christine studied Business at the University of Minnesota.
Joel Cherry leads Amyris research and development, including various ongoing collaborations. Prior to joining Amyris, Dr. Cherry was Senior Director of bioenergy biotechnology at Novozymes. During his tenure at Novozymes, he was a member of the R&D management team specializing in protein engineering and directed evolution technologies. He was also principal investigator and director of the BioEnergy Project, an effort funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to reduce the cost of enzymes used in converting biomass to sugar. This work was awarded an R&D 100 Award, Scientific American Top 50 Award, and a Frost and Sullivan Emerging Technology Award. Dr. Cherry is an inventor on more than 20 issued patents, author of three book chapters and more than 30 scientific publications, and an invited speaker at numerous international conferences on biofuels. He received his B.A. from Carleton College in chemistry, and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire.
Beth Bannerman joined Amyris in June 2018 as Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications & Engagement. A principal strategist and advisor to the CEO and executive staff, she is responsible for setting the strategic direction for the company’s communications and all aspects of internal and external communications delivery.
Most recently, she was working in the United Kingdom as the Head of Communications at The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, PLC, where she advised the Chief Operating Officer on issues ranging from innovation and technology, disruptive business modelling, customer experience, and employee engagement. Previously, she advised the bank’s Chief Financial Officer and other C-level executives, on communications. She also led the bank-wide change management communications strategy and had senior responsibility for crisis, policy, media, and business communications.
Prior to RBS, Beth led consumer banking communications for Citizens Financial Group, including sales and service, and was part of the core re-branding team which launched the Good Banking is Good Citizenship campaign to customers, colleagues and the community.
Beth started her career as a newspaper journalist and editor, until joining five former Dow Jones senior executives as Director of Operations and E-Commerce to build an internet startup – a real-time news and information service that provided original reporting, data and timely analysis in several vertical markets: energy, commercial real estate, construction, and emerging markets.
She has earned a number of communication and engagement awards throughout her career, including the 2017 Cannes Silver Award for corporate film.
Oreste Fieschi joined Amyris as President of Sweeteners & Ingredients in February 2019. Most recently, he led global sales and marketing as the Chief Commercial Officer for Naturex, a leader in natural ingredients recently bought by Givaudan. He has over 20 years’ experience in senior commercial roles in diverse markets including chemicals, personal care, and food & beverage, including six years leading the sales growth strategy for Tate & Lyle Latin America. Prior to that, he held key commercial and business development roles with such companies as IFF, a leading developer and manufacturer of flavors and fragrances. Oreste holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Business School São Paulo, BSP (in partnership with Toronto University), and several other education certifications in finance and accounting, marketing, and chemical engineering.
Catherine joined Amyris in July 2018 as Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing and Education and was promoted to President of Biossance in February 2019. Prior to joining Amyris, Catherine was the Global General Manager for the Kendo portfolio of beauty brands within LVMH, including Marc Jacobs Beauty, Kat von D, Disney and Ole Henriksen Skincare. Catherine built Marc Jacobs Beauty from concept to development and then launched the brands in over 22 countries. Prior to Kendo, Catherine was the Vice President of Sephora Collection, responsible for the brand re-design and product strategy that lifted Sephora Collection to the #1 brand at Sephora. As one of Sephora USA’s first hires and member of EllesVMH (select group of female executives within LVMH), she helped shape and grow the organization into the beauty leader it is today. Gore holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications/Business from St. Mary’s College of California.
Caroline Hadfield joined Amyris in June 2015 as Senior Vice President, Personal Care, and leads the company's B2B and B2C sales initiatives for its consumer cosmetic products and was appointed President of the company’s Biossance brand in July 2018. In February 2019, she was appointed to lead the company’s new direct-to-consumer baby skincare brand and continues to lead Aprinnova, the B2C cosmetic products business. Previously, Hadfield owned and operated an established retail consultancy practice specializing in the health, wellness and the personal care market sectors. Prior to that, she cofounded luxury spa interests in the United Kingdom and San Francisco where she developed branded spa products and also served as Global Product Director for Bodyshop International, where she was responsible for a complete range of globally sourced and regionally targeted products and contributed extensively to marketing strategy and packaging design. Before joining Bodyshop, Hadfield was Senior Vice President at Sephora (part of LVMH Group) and was part of the executive team that rolled out the Sephora concept across the U.S., opening 50 stores within just 18 months. Her experience also includes prior roles in merchandizing as SVP – General Merchandise Manager with Duty Free Shoppers (part of LVMH) and as Buying Controller with Burton Group (now Arcadia). Hadfield holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in textiles and management from Leeds University and has completed a Senior Executive Program at Stanford University.
Jim Iacoponi joined Amyris in 2015 and is responsible for the strategic leadership of its Royal DSM relationship to maximize the value of its human and animal nutrition portfolio and its performance materials business, farnesene-based applications for synthetic rubber, polymers, and industrial products. Additionally, he leads the regulatory, co-products and Amyris Portugal teams and is a Board member for Amyris’s lubricants joint-venture, Novvi. Jim has over three decades of diverse experience in the downstream-energy and specialty chemicals sectors. Prior to joining Amyris he was Vice President of Operations for Propel Fuels, building California’s leading renewable fuel retail network providing flex fuel and renewable diesel to consumers. Previously, he served at BP P.L.C. for 28 years where he held numerous leadership roles including in convenience retailing, petroleum refining, sales operations, strategy development, business restructuring, and supply chain management. Jim has extensive customer-facing background in B2B and B2C channels as well as in global specialty chemical sales. He led BP’s 2400-location company-operated and dealer business East-of-the Rockies, and BP’s transition in the US to a franchisee-owned and operated retail business. He has held senior finance positions in manufacturing and led BP’s planning, forecasting and performance management activity for its global retail business. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Science in Management from Purdue University.
Nicole Kelsey joined Amyris as General Counsel and Secretary in August 2017. Her areas of expertise range from U.S. securities laws, to international M&A and corporate governance. Prior to joining Amyris, she served as General Counsel and Secretary of Criteo, a global leader in commerce marketing, where she built a best-in-class legal department providing commercial, corporate, and compliance services to support the company’s worldwide operations. Previously, Ms. Kelsey was the senior securities lawyer for Medtronic, a global leader in medical technology; she served as head M&A attorney for CIT Group, Inc.; was the general counsel of a private merchant bank; and worked for the international conglomerate Vivendi. Before going in-house, Ms. Kelsey practiced with the law firms of White & Case and Willkie, Farr & Gallagher, in Paris and New York. A Fulbright scholar, Ms. Kelsey holds a J.D. from Northwestern University and a B.A. from The Ohio State University, and is admitted to practice law in both New York and Minnesota.
Chuck Kraft leads Amyris's global manufacturing and process development operations. Mr. Kraft has three decades of experience in specialty fermentation. Prior to joining Amyris, he was Vice President of Operations, and earlier Vice President of Engineering, at DuPont Tate and Lyle BioProducts, a joint venture producing 1, 3-propanediol (Bio-PDO™) via fermentation of plant-based sugars. Previously, for nearly two decades, he held a number of operational positions at Tate & Lyle's citric acid production facility in the United States. He holds MBA and B.S. Degrees from the University of Dayton, Ohio.