Formerly having served in product leadership roles at Apple and Motorola Mobility, Thakkar brings more than a decade of product experience to the food tech startup
Impossible Foods announced today the hiring of Ravi Thakkar in the all-new position of Vice President of Product Management.
Thakkar will build and lead a team of product managers at Impossible Foods. The Redwood City, Calif-based food tech startup currently sells the award-winning Impossible Burger, and its scientists are working on a full range of delicious, nutritious, plant-based meat and dairy foods.
Thakkar joins Impossible Foods from Apple, where he served as iPhone Product Manager in the Worldwide Product Marketing division. Before Apple, Thakkar held several product leadership roles at Motorola Mobility, a mobile devices company acquired by Google.
“I am deeply passionate about the mission at Impossible Foods. The profound impact we can have on animal welfare and the planet is limitless,” Thakkar said. “It is a privilege to build a world-class product management organization to make the global food system sustainable.”
Impossible Foods has experienced tremendous growth since the launch of the award-winning and “shockingly good” Impossible™ Burger 2.0 in January 2019. The Impossible Burger is now sold in more than 15,000 restaurants in the United States and Asia.
Growth has come from every sales category where Impossible Foods does business — independent restaurants, large restaurant chains such as White Castle, Qdoba and Red Robin, and non-commercial outlets such as theme parks, museums, stadiums and college campuses nationwide. Earlier this month, Burger King introduced the Impossible Whopper to all 7,200 US restaurants.
In addition to an increasing number of outlets that sell the Impossible Burger, many restaurants are expanding the number of items made from the versatile plant-based meat; average per-store volume is increasing. Sales have increased more than four-fold in Asia over the last four months.
Last month, Impossible Foods announced a co-manufacturing collaboration with global food provider OSI Group, one of the largest food producers in the world. OSI has already begun to produce the Impossible Burger, adding short-term capacity to Impossible Foods’ plant in Oakland, Calif. OSI will continue to expand production of Impossible Foods’ flagship product throughout 2019 and thereafter.
Thakkar has a track record of launching successful products at global scale. He has an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Thakkar’s experience spans product management, engineering, marketing, sales, operations and other functions.
“Ravi brings a wealth of product experience and leadership from high-tech companies,” said Sheetal Shah, Senior Vice President for Product and Operations. “It is so important that we build a strong product management function as we scale the business and there’s no one better than Ravi to lead it.”
Impossible Foods’ executive team includes executives with an unusually diverse range of backgrounds, including government, academia and the food sector, as well as “hypergrowth” startups Dropbox, Google and Tesla.