SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (AP) — Solazyme Inc. has hired former Tyson Foods Inc. executive Jeffrey Webster as its chief operating officer, the renewable oil and bioproducts company said Monday.
Webster was group vice president and general manager of the renewable products business at Tyson. Webster also was responsible for food ingredient, pet food ingredient and animal feed businesses. He began his career as a geophysicist with Arco Oil and Gas.
Solazyme makes oil using special strains of algae that eat plant-based sugars. The oil produced during the fermentation can be used in everything from jet fuel to skin-care products. The company is looking to expand sales, and won a $21.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009 to build a new refinery.
"Jeff's deep understanding of both renewable fuels and nutrition and his vast experience building new growth platforms at large commercial organizations are vital to Solazyme as we scale and move into commercialization," Solazyme CEO Jonathan Wolfson said in a statement.
Solazyme shares fell 24 cents, or 2 percent, to $11.10 in afternoon trading.