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FootprintApr 06 20213 min read

Don Thompson, Manu Bettegowda, and Stefan Kirsten Join Kevin Easler, Les Brun, Brian Krzanich, and Rich Daly on Footprint’s Board of Directors

The powerful team of veteran leaders from companies including McDonald’s and Intel bolsters Footprint’s mission to eliminate single-use and short-term plastics

GILBERT, Ariz. (April 6, 2021) — Footprint, a sustainable technology firm specializing in materials science engineering, today announced the appointment of Don Thompson, Manu Bettegowda and Stefan Kirsten to the Footprint Board of Directors. The cohort joins existing members Les Brun, Brian Krzanich and Rich Daly, rounding out the group’s unparalleled knowledge in food and beverage industry trends, food production technology, product and talent diversification, finance and business operations.

“The strong leadership on the Footprint Board of Directors is a testament to the company’s sustainability solutions and the need our technology is filling,” said Chairman of the Board Kevin Easler, Sprouts Farmers Markets co-founder, and CEO of Zenfinity Capital. “Our mission to replace non-essential single-use plastics with plant-based fiber solutions is met with a powerful ability to scale, supporting the largest consumer packaged goods producers in the world.”

Previously serving as the president and CEO of McDonald’s Corporation, Don Thompson spent 23 years in various leadership roles driving global strategic innovation. He is known for implementing three priorities to innovate McDonald’s growth: optimizing the menu, modernizing the customer experience, and broadening restaurant accessibility. As an engineer by trade, he was originally hired to design robotic equipment for food transport and made control circuits for cooking. Thompson’s extensive understanding of food production and business strategy align with Footprint’s team of engineers who develop plant-based fiber alternatives to single-use plastics that integrate seamlessly with existing production lines.

Manu Bettegowda brings extensive packaging industry expertise to the board as a partner at Olympus Partners. Having been a long-time investor in packaging, Bettegowda has seen the rapid shift in demand for sustainable packaging solutions firsthand. Previously, he worked at Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co. focusing on mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, and refinancings of middle market companies.

Stefan Kirsten is a leading German economist and has an exceptional managerial background as a blue-chip CFO, having served in that role for Metro Group, Thyssenkrupp as well as Vonovia. He currently serves as chairman of the Supervisory Board of Vonovia Finance B.V. and was a member of the Supervisory Board of Flaschenpost SE. Prof Kirsten’s experience in these roles brings a keen understanding of European markets that will guide Footprint as the company expands its plastic-free, plant-based fiber product solutions into Europe and the United Kingdom.

These individuals will join Footprint’s already strong bench of Directors, including: Les Brun, who brings over 40 years of investment banking, commercial banking and financial advisory experience to the board and currently serves as the chairman of the Board of Directors for CDK Global, lead independent director of Merck & Co., and director at Corning, Inc.; Brian Krzanich, who while serving as the CEO of Intel from 2013-2018 was credited for diversifying Intel's product offerings, as well as the company’s workforce; Rich Daly, a keen business operations expert, member of the Advisory Board for the New York Stock Exchange and the National Association of Corporate Directors, and former CEO and current executive chairman of Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.; and Co-founders Troy Swope, CEO, and Yoke Chung, chief technology officer. 

For more information about Footprint and the board of directors who are helping to create a healthy planet, visit

About Footprint

Footprint has a clear vision: eliminate single-use and short-term use plastics. Footprint’s team of engineers uses plant-based fiber technology to design, develop and manufacture biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable products that are on par with plastic’s cost and exceed its performance, on a per unit basis. Footprint’s ability to compete with plastic’s cost and quality has led to a global redirection of 61 million pounds of plastic waste from entering the air, earth, and water.

For more information on Footprint’s sustainable solutions visit