Benson Hill Grows Executive Team to Further Plant Science Innovation
Cloud Biology Leader Hires VP of R&D, VP Partner Development
St. Louis, MO – May 12, 2016 – Benson Hill Biosystems, an agricultural technology company focused on unlocking the global genetic potential of plants, today announced two additions to its executive team. Mohammed Oufattole is now Vice President of Research and Development and Mike Thompson is Vice President of Partner Development. Oufattole and Thompson are experienced leaders that bring to Benson Hill well-honed expertise, passion and vision to help solve some of the world’s greatest challenges in sustainable production agriculture.
“Benson Hill is at the forefront of a new era of innovation in agriculture, one that combines the kind of biological and genomics expertise I have built over my career with emerging opportunities in cloud computing and big data analytics,” commented Dr. Oufattole. “This new generation of innovation is greatly needed to accomplish what I have dreamed of doing since I was young – make an impact on global food security. Benson Hill provides a unique opportunity to combine my experience with that of other scientists and computational biologists to realize that goal. As we enter our next phase of growth and empower others to do the same, I couldn’t be more excited.”
Dr. Oufattole joins Benson Hill from Monsanto (NYSE: MON), where he served for ten years in various leadership roles, including leading the company’s research and development organization in India. A native of Morocco, he earned his MS and Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Plant Physiology from Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium, and completed his postdoctoral studies and earned an MBA at Washington State University.
“The time is right in agriculture to empower more innovators,” said Mike Thompson. “Benson Hill has positioned itself well to decentralize the technology necessary to advance agriculture and to enable a new era of innovation in this industry. I’ve spent the last several years seeing advancements in other industries that can have great application in agriculture, and after witnessing the passion and drive of the Benson Hill team I knew that this would be a place where an incredible impact can be made. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of it.”
Dr. Thompson joins Benson Hill from Illumina, a leading genomics company, where he led agriculture market development and was responsible for advancing the use of genomic approaches in crop and livestock markets. Prior to working at Illumina he managed the DNA Technologies division of BioDiagnostics, Inc. and held various leadership positions in research and technology development at Monsanto. He earned his Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Biology from the University of Minnesota.
Jon Leafstedt and Elizabeth Olsen, principals with Kincannon & Reed, a leading executive search firm focused on the food, agribusiness, and biosciences sectors, assisted the Benson Hill management in the recruitment of Mohammed Oufattole.
About Benson Hill Biosystems
Benson Hill Biosystems is an agricultural technology company that unlocks the global genetic potential of plants to enhance the sustainability of food, feed, fiber and fuel production. Benson Hill and our partners harness natural and novel genetic variation through breeding, trait development, and genome editing to develop products that accelerate crop improvement. More information can be found online at bensonhillbio.com