Red Lobster CEO Kim Lopdrup to serve as chairman of Kalera's board of directors

Published on
May 13, 2021

Red Lobster CEO Kim Lopdrup has been named chairman of the board of Kalera, a vertical farming company specializing in the production of produce in controlled environments using plant science.

Lopdrup will take over for current chairman Bjorge Gretland, who will remain on Kalera’s board of directors – a collective that now includes the likes of former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and Maria Sastre, a seasoned executive currently sitting on the boards for General Mills and O’Reilly Auto Parts.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Kim, a proven titan in the food and restaurant industry, become Chairman of our Board,” Gretland said. “His knowledge and expertise span from securing the highest quality, traceable and sustainable seafood for his vast network of restaurants to leading companies through global expansion. These are skills that are invaluable to Kalera at this time. As Kalera moves towards a U.S. listing of its stock, Kim is extremely well suited to take on the chairman role.” 

As Red Lobster’s CEO, a role he’s has held since 2014, Lopdrup has overseen the company improve its “food, service, and technology.”

“All of Red Lobster’s seafood is now traceable, sustainable, and responsibly-sourced. It has dramatically grown its off-premise sales by adding delivery and Rapid Red Curbside Pick-Up. Red Lobster was recently recognized by Forbes on its 2021 list of America’s Best Large Employers and by Newsweek on its 2021 list of America’s Best Loyalty Programs,” Kalera noted in a press release.

Prior to his work with Red Lobster, Lopdrup served as president of the specialty restaurant group and new business division for Darden Restaurants. With Darden, he was responsible for several brands under the enterprise’s banner, including The Capital Grille, Eddie V’s, Seasons 52, Yard House, and Bahama Breeze. Lopdrup also headed Darden’s international division, consumer packaged goods, and M&A. He also worked as chief operating officer for North America for Burger King Corporation, and CEO of the international division for Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins.  

“Kalera has a world-class management team and a disruptive technology that allows them to produce the highest-quality produce I have ever tasted in a way that is remarkably clean, sustainable and efficient. It is easy to see why customers get so excited once they try Kalera’s products or tour one of Kalera’s farms,” Lopdrup said. “I am passionate about great food, food safety, nutrition, sustainability, innovation and international growth. Kalera is positioned to excel in all of these areas. I look forward to working with Daniel Malechuk, Kalera’s outstanding CEO, to make the most of these exciting opportunities.”

Lopdrup will remain CEO of Red Lobster while he serves as chairman for Kalera’s board of directors, the company confirmed.

Photo courtesy of Red Lobster

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