ST. LOUIS — Benson Hill has named Adrienne (Deanie) Elsner as interim chief executive officer. The company said the board is currently searching for a permanent CEO and is using the assistance of an executive search firm to carefully evaluate internal and external candidates. Elsner succeeds Matt Crisp, who will resign as CEO effective immediately but will remain with the company for 12 months as a consultant to the board in order to help facilitate a smooth transition.
Elsner has been a member of the board of directors at Benson Hill since May 2019. She also is on the board of directors for Owens Corning, a Fortune 500 industrial company.
Elsner’s most recent executive position was CEO of the marijuana extract products company Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc., which offers products for humans and pets, from May 2019 to January 2022. Earlier, she spent more than three years as president of the snacks business unit at Kellogg Co. Prior to Kellogg she was with Kraft Foods for more than 23 years in a variety of roles, including executive vice president and chief marketing officer. She also has worked at Quaker Oats Co., Johnson & Johnson, and Procter & Gamble.
She received a master of business administration degree in finance and marketing from the University of Chicago and a bachelor of science degree in business from the University of Arizona.
“It is a privilege to take on the role of interim CEO of Benson Hill,” Elsner said. “Benson Hill has grown tremendously since 2012, using its proprietary data and technology, making key investments to build out its unique model and bringing to market innovative products made better from the beginning. I look forward to working with the board and the Benson Hill team to enable the company to reach its full potential.”
Benson Hill also named Richard Mack as independent director of the company’s board of directors, effective immediately, bringing “nearly 30 years of agribusiness leadership experience to the Benson Hill board.”
Read more about personnel changes throughout the industry.