We lead the synthetic biology industry, having developed and successfully commercialized the most Lab-to-Market™ ingredients. Our sustainable ingredients are used in thousands of top global brands, including our own family of consumer brands in Clean Beauty and Health markets.
Our leadership team is comprised of an exceptional group of executives who are championing a new technology and market innovation while creating significant growth opportunities as part of a company that is leading the advanced bioeconomy.
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.
Han Kieftenbeld joined Amyris as Chief Financial Officer in March 2020 and was appointed Chief Administration Officer in July 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.
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.
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.
Beth Bannerman joined Amyris in June 2018 as Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications & Engagement and was appointed Chief Engagement & Sustainability Officer in July 2020. 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.
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.
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 led the company's B2B and B2C sales initiatives for its consumer cosmetic products through a period of significant growth and was appointed President of the company’s Biossance clean skincare brand she created and developed, as well as President of the company’s Aprinnova skincare ingredients business in July 2018. She continued the rapid growth of both divisions, developing the company’s focus on Clean Beauty, and pioneering the movement to ban toxic ingredients and introduced sustainable packaging and clinically tested formulations for maximum efficacy. In February 2019, she was appointed to lead the company’s new direct-to-consumer baby and family skincare brand, Pipette, to launch a new range of clean beauty products focused on baby, mothers and family, which has grown significantly since its launch in September 2019 and is well placed for continued rapid expansion. As an expert in originating, building and running brands she has been essential in launching and managing the growth of brands while introducing innovative new product lines and building out robust ecommerce and bricks-and-mortar sales channels. She led the Aprinnova B2B ingredients business with a keen view on new opportunities to bring product innovation and exceptional brands to Amyris through her entrepreneurial expertise and exceptional success as a high-growth brand executive. In 2020, Caroline became Chief Executive Officer of Rose Inc., a new business venture focused on Clean Beauty color cosmetics, that will launch in 2021.
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.
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.
Jim Iacoponi joined Amyris in 2015 and was 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 prior to his appointment in July 2020 as Senior Vice President of Amyris’ sweetener B2B business. 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.
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.
Mike Rytokoski joined Amyris as President of Aprinnova in June 2021. He brings over 30 years of international experience leading and growing businesses in Europe, Asia, North America and Latin America. Most recently Rytokoski served as Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer for Goodyear based in Brussels. Prior to that, he led Goodyear’s passenger vehicle and SUV tire business in Asia Pacific based in Shanghai driving significant growth in both B2C and B2B areas.
Previously Rytokoski worked in number of general management roles at The Clorox Company, a leading home care products manufacturer. In addition to cleaning brands, his portfolio at Clorox included Burt’s Bees natural beauty care products. He started his career at Unilever working in marketing roles of increasing responsibility in the beauty care category in Europe and Latin America. Rytokoski holds an MBA from Helsinki School of Economics and has completed executive programs at Harvard and Wharton Business Schools. He serves on the board of directors of Secapp, a Finnish SaaS company.
Annie Tsong was appointed Chief Strategy and Product Officer in 2021 and is responsible for developing Amyris’ extensive pipeline of products and ingredients. She maintains the strategic portfolio by identifying the intersection between market needs and areas where Amyris’ technology offers new value.
A long-time Amyris veteran, Annie joined Amyris in 2008 in the Research and Development division, where she was central in establishing the company’s foundational microbial production platform. Subsequently, she established a Program Management Office which brought Amyris’ highest priority molecules to market by integrating activity across capabilities from upstream R&D to commercialization. Most recently, Annie turned her attention to Product Innovation, where her team established an ingredient development pipeline focused on fast-to-market opportunities that support Amyris’ strategic objectives. Annie has authored multiple landmark scientific publications in the fields of metabolic engineering and evolution of transcriptional regulation. She is an inventor on many key patents in Amyris’ IP portfolio, and a frequent speaker at international scientific conferences.
Annie holds an AB in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard University, a Ph.D. in genetics from University of California, San Francisco, and was a Miller Fellow at University of California, Berkeley.
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.