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Beyond Meat to slash 200 jobs, including several top executives, amid declining sales

COO Doug Ramsey, who allegedly bit man's nose at football game last month, is among the departures

Beyond Meat, which sells plant-based meat substitutes, has slashed its revenue expectations and announced it will lay off 20% of its workforce before the end of 2022. File Photo by Justin Lane/EPA-EFE
1 of 2 | Beyond Meat, which sells plant-based meat substitutes, has slashed its revenue expectations and announced it will lay off 20% of its workforce before the end of 2022. File Photo by Justin Lane/EPA-EFE

Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Beyond Meat plans to slash nearly 20% of its workforce amid rapidly declining sales, and several of the company's top executives are among the most notable casualties -- including its chief operating officer who is facing assault charges for allegedly biting a man's nose at a college football game in Arkansas last month.

The job cuts, revealed this week in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, affect about 200 employees altogether and will be carried out through the end of the year.

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Headlining the shakeup is a major reshuffling of the company's top brass, with its recently installed COO Doug Ramseystepping down late last week after news of his arrest went public in September, the filing revealed.

Also departing is Chief Growth Officer Deanna Jurgens, whose role was eliminated; and Chief Financial Officer Philip Hardin, who resigned earlier this week to take another job.

The company, which sells plant-based meat substitutes, is betting that the savings gained from the job cuts will create more favorable financial conditions in 2023 after downgrading its fourth-quarter revenue projections.

Only two months ago, the company announced it was laying off 4% of its workers following a disappointing second quarter as consumers turned to cheaper brands at the supermarket amid surging inflation.

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The SEC filing also showed Beyond Meat adjusted down its overall revenue expectations for 2022, with analysts predicting revenue of $481 million, down from a previous forecast of $520 million.

The company suspended Ramsey in September when it was revealed that he was arrested in Fayetteville, Ark., for allegedly beating up a driver outside Razorback Stadium after someone ran into his car.

The 53-year-old Ramsey was arrested and charged with making terroristic threats and third-degree battery. Court records say Ramsey punched through the back windshield of a Subaru after it clipped his front tire in a parking garage. From there, Ramsey punched the man and bit his nose, "ripping the flesh on the tip of the nose," police said in the arrest report after they found "two males with bloody faces."

A witness also told police Ramsey threatened to kill the driver.

The incident came as a shock as Ramsey had been on the job at Beyond Meat for less than a year, arriving in December after a successful 30-year career at Tyson Foods.

Replacing Ramsey will be Lubi Kutua, who has been appointed to head up the company's finances after previously serving as Beyond Meat's vice president for financial planning and analysis.

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Jonathan Nelson, the company's senior vice president of manufacturing and Ramsey's previous interim fill-in, was appointed to oversee Beyond Meat's business operations moving forward.

The shakeup sent Beyond Meat's stock tumbling more than 7% during early trading on Friday.

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