LOS ANGELES — Plant-based food and beverage maker Califia Farms has hired David W. Ritterbush as chief executive officer. He succeeds Greg Steltenpohl, founder of Califia, who will retire as CEO but remain on the company’s board as an executive director.
Mr. Ritterbush is a veteran of the consumer packaged foods industry, having most recently held the position of CEO at Quest Nutrition, where he guided the company to a $1 billion acquisition by The Simply Good Foods Co. Prior to Quest, he was CEO of popchips, and earlier he was CEO of Premier Nutrition Corp.
Additionally, Mr. Ritterbush has worked as vice president and general manager of Red Bull North America and spent many years as senior vice president of marketing at Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream.
“With Califia’s innovation and commitment to helping people and the planet, there is endless potential for continued growth, especially as an increasing number of consumers seek plant-based options,” Mr. Ritterbush said. “I look forward to building on Greg’s vision and continuing the company's commitment to innovation. Having Greg on the board will allow us to tap into his deep knowledge and passion, which will be invaluable.”
Mr. Steltenpohl founded Odwalla Juice Co. before launching Califia Farms in 2010. Under his direction, the company has become a leader in premium, plant-based beverages.
“I am super proud of what we've accomplished at Califia since we launched the brand 10 years ago,” Mr. Steltenpohl said. “Now is the perfect time in the company's evolution for this next step. We were committed to finding the right person to serve as our next CEO, and I couldn't be more excited to hand over the reins to such a talented and well-respected leader. With his deep experience in CPG and nutrition, Dave is the ideal person to continue taking the company forward as a leader in the plant-based food and beverage space.”
In January 2020, Califia announced a $225 million Series D financing to fuel its innovation and growth. Califia expanded its plant-based milk portfolio by introducing a new oat platform in 2019, and the company recently added Plant Butters to its portfolio of plant-based milks, creamers, yogurts and cold brew coffees.