Management

Amyris delivers high-performance alternatives to petroleum, plant and animal-based products across a wide range of consumer and industry segments. Our products offer customers a way to reduce environmental impact with No Compromise® in performance or availability. We are making better chemistry biologically.

John Melo
Director, President & Chief Executive Officer

John Melo has 30 years of combined experience as an entrepreneur and thought leader in developing and growing technology companies and as a senior executive in the Oil & Gas industry. 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) 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., serves on the board of directors of BayBio, serves on the Bio Industrial and Environmental section governing board, is a member of the Council for the Portuguese Diaspora and is a member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). 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
Chief Business Officer

Kathleen Valiasek joined Amyris as Chief Financial Officer in January 2017 and in June 2019 was appointed Chief Business Officer. 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
Chief Operating Officer

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. 

 

Christine Ofori
Chief People Officer

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.  

Beth Baker Bannerman
Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications & Engagement

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
President, Sweeteners and Ingredients

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 Gore
President of Biossance

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
President of Pipette and Aprinnova

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
Senior Vice President, Nutrition Ingredients

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
General Counsel and Secretary

Nicole Kelsey joined Amyris as General Counsel and Secretary in August 2017. Her areas of expertise range from international M&A to U.S. Securities laws and multi-jurisdictional corporate governance. Prior to joining Amyris, she served as General Counsel and Secretary of Criteo, a global leader in commerce marketing based in Paris, 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 was the senior corporate attorney 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 Pritzker School of Law and a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from The Ohio State University, and is admitted to practice law in both New York and Minnesota.

Charles Kraft
Senior Vice President, Global Manufacturing & Process Development

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.

Sunil Chandran
Senior Vice President of Research & Development

Sunil Chandran leads Amyris research and development, including collaborations and served as Vice President, Research and Development prior to being appointed Senior Vice President of Research and Development in May 2019. With more than 15 years of experience in industrial biotechnology, he has a proven track record of bringing multiple biotech products to market. Since joining Amyris in 2006, Sunil has led multiple metabolic engineering focused projects, and was the primary architect of our world-class Automated Strain Engineering (ASE) platform. Notably in 2015, Sunil was the principal investigator who led an ambitious project that earned Amyris a $35 million Technology Investment Agreement from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Prior to joining Amyris, Sunil was a scientist at Kosan Biosciences, where he studied the ability of polyketide synthases to make novel pharmaceutical drug candidates. He has more than 20 published scientific papers, book chapters, and patents and has been an invited speaker at numerous international conferences on biotechnology. He holds a BS in chemistry from the University of Mumbai, an MS in chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Michigan State University. Sunil also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Han Kieftenbeld
Chief Financial Officer

Han Kieftenbeld joined Amyris as Chief Financial Officer in March 2020. He brings over 25 years of international business leadership, finance and operations experience in food, health and nutrition end-markets. Most recently, from April 2016 to April 2019, Mr. Kieftenbeld served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Innophos Holdings, Inc., a leading international science-based producer of essential ingredients for health and nutrition, food and beverage and industrial brands. From June 2014 to July 2015, Mr. Kieftenbeld served as the Global Chief Financial Officer at AB Mauri, a worldwide leader in bakery ingredients. Prior to that, Mr. Kieftenbeld held finance and operations roles of increasing reach and impact, including serving as Global Chief Procurement Officer of Ingredion Incorporated, and Global Chief Financial Officer of National Starch. Mr. Kieftenbeld started his career at Unilever in the Netherlands. In 2006, Mr. Kieftenbeld earned a joint master’s degree from New York University Stern School of Business, London School of Economics and Political Science, and the HEC School of Management, Paris. He holds a B.S. in Business Economics and Accounting from Windesheim University in the Netherlands.

John Welch
Chief Digital Officer

John Welch joined Amyris as Chief Digital Officer in December 2019 to drive greater online engagement and accelerate growth of our consumer products and ingredients businesses. He is a data-driven technology executive and entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience building products, teams and companies from the early days of the internet through to the modern social and mobile app ecosystem. As one of the early pioneers of digital distribution he helped create the SEGA Dreamcast Network and Shockwave.com; he was among the first to build and sell premium digital content on the planet including downloadable versions what are now considered arcade classics, Defender and Spy Hunter. John went on to become founder and CEO of two video game publishers. At PlayFirst, he created the Diner Dash franchise, enjoyed by over 500 million people. At Making Fun, he produced one of the highest-rated apps on the App Store and Google Play, the action role-playing game Eternium. Today, he’s a board member of Making Fun and Hitpoint, a game studio.  John is an active leader within YPO, the global leadership community, both at his Golden Gate chapter and at the Pacific Region level. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Math and Computer Science from M.I.T. and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.