Ÿnsect replaces CEO as it looks to adapt its organization for further growth

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Andrii Yalanskyi
© GettyImages/Andrii Yalanskyi

Related tags Ÿnsect mealworm pet food

French mealworm producer, Ÿnsect, is making changes at the executive level, following the first tranche of €160m (US$175m) in Series D funding announced in April.

Shankar Krishnamoorthy will become the new CEO, replacing Ÿnsect’s co-founder, Antoine Hubert, in that leading role.

Hubert, who co-founded the Ÿnsect in 2011, will take on an executive vice-president role, focusing on innovation, strategy, science, influence, and impact. 

“This is a long-envisaged and natural step towards Ÿnsect’s continued commitment to operational excellence,” said the insect protein player.

Krishnamoorthy, a former member of the executive committee of gas and electricity player, Engie, joined Ÿnsect in 2021.

As head of business development in Asia and CEO of the Middle East and Africa at Engie, he led the opening of new markets and the development of several multi-billion-dollar energy infrastructure projects to support that companys' international growth. He also participated in the IPO of Thai assets. Since 2014, he has worked in London and Paris in several senior roles. Most recently, he was executive vice-president and COO of Ÿnsect, in charge of international development, engineering and manufacturing, including responsibility for the company’s massive vertical farm project in Amiens in northern France.

"While our flagship site in Amiens is achieving a major milestone in its start-up phase, Ÿnsect has reached a point that requires us to adapt our organisation. Therefore, I am handing over the operational reins of the company to Shankar, a seasoned professional that I fully trust and who has demonstrated his great qualities within Ÿnsect over the past two years, thus ensuring the best possible continuity for our teams and our stakeholders,” said Hubert.

Shift in focus

In April, the company announced​ it would be concentrating its R&D efforts on the pet and human food sectors, reducing headcount by 20% and also shutting a Dutch facility.

Hubert told us then that Ÿnsect was "refocusing on a path of profitability" and thus concentrating on projects that were deemed profitable in the short term.

Animal feed market development would be on hold: "In this context, the group is focusing on high value-added products in the pet food, bird food, plant food and human food markets. But animal feed remains one of Ÿnsect's major challenges. Aquafeed is not left out, and we will continue to pursue our current projects and expand when the global economic environment becomes more favorable."

Board of directors

Ÿnsect also announced this week that is has renewed its board of directors, with new members joining. They include:

  • Eugenio Minvielle: He is an accomplished CEO with over 30 years of experience in the fast-moving consumer goods industry, spanning Europe, North America, South America, and Asia. He is the founder of INNIT International, and has held prestigious leadership roles, including president and CEO of Unilever North America, Nestle France, Nestle Mexico, Nestle Venezuela, and COO of DEMB, a Sara Lee spin-off.
  • Jean-Christophe Quémard: He has 36 years' experience in the automotive industry at PSA/Stellantis – 15 years at EXCOM in various positions covering the whole value chain. He was a member of the Managing Board for seven years.
  • Hans Wackwitz: He is the founder of Partners in Equity. After working 13 years at Bankers Trust Company and Paribas Capital Markets in New York, Dallas, Hong Kong, and London, he joined Cobepa/PAI in 1993 in Brussels to build their Private Equity and Venture Capital portfolio in the Netherlands. He started Partners in Equity in 2003, an Amsterdam based family office with a focus on impact investments in agri-tech, health care and education.  
  • Jean-Paul Lemonnier: He is the CEO of Peugeot Invest UK and head of growth investments for Peugeot Invest. He began his career in 2004 in the investment team of PAI partners in Paris, before joining Goldman Sachs in London in 2005, where he was part of the Principal Investment Area (PIA) division.
  • Eric Archambeau: He is the co-founder and partner at Astanor Ventures, a global impact investor that backs mission-driven entrepreneurs with disruptive, scalable technologies for the agriifood system. The former Silicon Valley technology entrepreneur turned venture capitalist was global chairman of the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation and lectured at INSEAD.
  • Gilles Schang: He is deputy MD of Bpifrance's Ecotechnologies, City of Tomorrow and French Tech Acceleration Cluster. He has been a technology venture capitalist for over 20 years. During this time, he held the positions of partner at Société Asset Management and, since 2012, deputy managing director of Bpifrance's Ecotechnologies, Ville de Demain and French Tech Accélération division.
  • François-Xavier de Thieulloy: He is director of expertise at Bpifrance, with 15 years' experience in the building materials and pharmaceutical industries, as well as experience in consulting and startups  

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