Pougnier brings more than 30 years of global experience as a senior agtech executive to lead the next phase of growth

Crop Enhancement Inc., an innovator of sustainable plant-based crop-protection products that protect or enhance crop yields, announced the appointment of Jean Pougnier to CEO from his former role as chief business officer, succeeding Kevin Chen, Ph.D., who moves to a new role as an independent board director of the company, effective June 22.

Pougnier takes leadership of Crop Enhancement at an opportune time in the company’s growth trajectory as further field validation of its CropCoat® technology platform brings the product towards commercialization with key partners and distributors.

“It’s an exciting time for Crop Enhancement. Our field trials have proven that our initial product, CropCoat, is a very effective deterrent to pests for several important crops, so we’ve engaged with key partners to optimize it for more applications,” said Pougnier. “I look forward to working closely with our partners to launch Crop Enhancement’s unique technology and provide to growers outstanding pest control in a sustainable way. I would like to thank Kevin for his strong leadership and tireless efforts, which have positioned Crop Enhancement for continued growth.”

“With a full slate of field trials placed for the 2020 season on our CropCoat platform and numerous evaluation engagements underway with agrochemical strategic partners, Crop Enhancement has officially entered into its next phase of growth,” said Chen. “With these objectives secure, I am pleased that the board has approved my nomination of Jean to succeed me to lead the charge in this next chapter of our company’s trajectory. I’m extremely proud of what has been accomplished during my tenure as CEO and thankful to have worked with such talented employees, visionary investors, and dedicated partners. Crop Enhancement has never been stronger. As a director, I’ll continue to work with Jean and our board to realize the maximum potential of our business.”

“We were thrilled to bring Jean on board last December as chief business officer, and he has proven invaluable in our efforts to identify strategic partners and establish key go-to-market relationships around the globe,” said Andrew Chung, an early investor in Crop Enhancement and managing partner at 1955 Capital. “Jean’s extensive leadership, deep industry knowledge, and solid track record as a top executive at DuPont will propel Crop Enhancement into this next phase of growth, something he already demonstrated during his tenure.”

“We are delighted to have Jean as our next CEO, and I am certain he will have high impact,” said Marcus Meadows-Smith, chairman of the board of Crop Enhancement. “Thanks to Kevin’s effective leadership over the last 4.5 years, Crop Enhancement advanced from a seed-stage startup through Series A and B equity raises. Kevin recruited a world-class team and established Crop Enhancement as a valuable Silicon Valley company with an agronomically proven crop-protection product now in trials with multiple top-tier strategic partners. As Kevin begins his next challenge as a venture capital investor, we are grateful for his service as CEO and look forward to his continued contributions on the board.”

Crop Enhancement has developed proprietary sustainable biological products that, when sprayed using conventional farm equipment, beneficially protect plant surfaces—leaves, stems, and fruit—to significantly improve their resistance to pests and diseases and decrease the need for synthetic pesticides and pesticide applications.

The company’s first product, CropCoat®, offers growers a new sustainable solution with effective modes of action that has demonstrated yield protection and enhancement relative to synthetic chemistries in several global crops. CropCoat can also be applied in conjunction with agricultural inputs such as nutrients and other active ingredients.

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