François Fraudeau, CEO Novus, announced his pending retirement in 2019 and in October, last year, the company said Dan Meagher would be officially returning as executive VP and general manager. He is set to take on the role of CEO in April, following Fraudeau’s exit.
Meagher has deep insights into the workings of the company, having been at Novus for six years before moving to the biotechnology company, Agrivida.
We spoke to him at the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta to hear more about his plans for how to take the company forward.
“We’re going to need to ascertain which of our platforms and the technologies make the most sense.
“The methionine market, as everybody knows, [is seeing] a lot of additional capacity being built. We just need to assess where we are and how we continue to focus on the right [areas].”
The intention is to “tweak and improve” the work the company is already doing, Meagher said. “I want to see us grounded in technology platforms that we have and ones that, maybe, we have yet to acquire.”
“Our role is having a really good handle on nutrition and health, gut health and aspects of the dynamics of nutrition absorption, reduction of the challenges that exist, and the whole immunity aspect,” he said. “Novus’ history goes all the way back to the HMTBa molecule.”
Developing an understanding of what the HMTBa form of the methionine molecule did for an animal helped bring insights about what is taking place in the gut and the science related to gut health continues, he said.
Minerals remain a key focus as well as enzymes and eubiotic products, he said. “On the whole, I think enzymes continue to be an immature market rather than a mature market."
Looking for new technologies that can add value is always of interest, said Meagher.
“The challenge is in finding the technologies that are close to making a difference in the industry, that have been de-risked but are looking to get into a larger machine to realize their potential,” he said.
The company will continue to focus on supporting employees, said Meagher.
“I’m pro-people, my style is that we, as a leadership team, work for the organization,” he said. “We need to make sure that we remove a lot of barriers, so we can make decisions quickly at the customer level, that we empower people to do what they need to do – they’re in front of the customer, they understand the issues."
“My role is about creating that culture and environment and making sure we have a clear strategy and direction and that the entire organization understands what that is. I know the people, the core of what we’re trying to get done, and certainly the challenges we face. One of my major goals [for the future] is to attract the right talent, is to attract future leaders.”