Beyond Meat suspends COO after alleged nose-biting incident

Beyond Meat suspends COO after alleged nose-biting incident

Beyond Meat (BYND) has suspended its Chief Operating Officer (COO) Doug Ramsey after he was arrested last weekend for allegedly biting a man’s nose.

The alleged incident took place in an Arkansas parking garage after a University of Arkansas football game, according to a preliminary police report obtained by local television channel KNWA/Fox 24. The report noted that Ramsey allegedly “smashed through the rear window” of a other vehicle during an argument on the road after the vehicle hit the front tire of the food manager’s car.

Ramsey, who had just joined the company in December, was charged with terrorist threat and third-degree battery, according to court records.

Beyond Meat COO Doug Ramsey arrested after alleged road altercation (Source: Washington County, Arkansas)

Beyond Meat COO Doug Ramsey arrested after alleged road altercation (Source: Washington County, Arkansas)

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, the company said Jonathan Nelson, senior vice president of manufacturing operations, will oversee operations on an interim basis in the meantime.

Ramsey’s arrest is just the latest PR headache for Beyond Meat, which has also faced a declining share price amid several operational headwinds.

The plant-based meat producer cut its global workforce by 4% and lowered its full-year outlook after reporting a larger-than-expected loss in the last quarter. The company also lacked revenue and blamed the impact of sales to liquidation channels, in addition to foreign currency headwinds and increased discounts.

“We recognize that progress is taking longer than we anticipated,” CEO Ethan Brown said in a statement at the time.

Beyond’s leadership team noted that its business environment continues to be affected by near-term uncertainty related to macroeconomic issues, including inflation and rising interest rates, in addition to COVID-19 and supply chain disruptions.

During the earnings call, the company revealed it is seeing a slowdown in the resumption of growth after COVID, and that shopping patterns have shifted away from plant-based meats, with consumers largely trading downwards.

Analysts expect Beyond Meat’s revenue and earnings to remain volatile until the company takes greater strides in controlling operating expenses.

“Pursuing growth opportunities like jerky leads to operational inefficiencies and increased costs, which burns cash,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jennifer Bartashus said in a note, adding that “high supply chain costs and manufacturing challenges can weigh on margins.”

Alexandra is a Senior Entertainment and Food Reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193 and email her at alexandra.canal@yahoofinance.com

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