In October 2022, Lubi Kutua had to be beyond pleased. The 42-year-old business executive was getting bumped up to the role of Chief Financial Officer for Beyond Meat, the Los Angeles–based producer of plant-based meat substitutes without GMOs, bioengineered ingredients, hormones, antibiotics, or cholesterol.
Founded in 2009, the company was one of the hottest IPOs in 2019, with shares jumping over 100% on its first trading day in May of that year, before rocketing over 500% at one point that summer. Today, the company is already worth more than $1 billion, which means there is plenty on the plate for its new CFO to take care of.
Kutua's road into the world of corporate finance has a unique beginning. A double major in math and physics, he was directed to a summer internship at a Goldman Sachs subsidiary called William Street Commitment Corporation. From there, he realized that he had a passion for the world of corporate finance.
At the end of his internship, he was offered an analyst job at Goldman, the place which would serve as his home for nearly nine years. During this time, he also managed to pick up an MBA in financial instruments and markets from the NYU Stern School of Business.
Kutua's next move was over to KeyBanc Capital Markets, where he served as an equity research associate. In this role, he covered 20 publicly traded companies within the packaged food and beverage industries. Clearly he had a taste for these sectors, because in 2015, after joining global investment banking firm Jefferies as vice president of equity research, he continued to cover the packaged food and agribusiness segments of the market.
In January 2019, Kutua began working at Beyond Meat. Prior to his CFO role, he served as vice president of financial planning and analysis and investor relations.
Notably, Kutua took over the financial reigns at a time when Beyond Meat was starting to feel a pull-back in its full-year sales. For instance, net revenues decreased 22.5% to $82.5 million in the third quarter of 2022, compared to $106.4 million in the same period the year prior.
Moving forward, as Beyond Meat tries to recapture its previous sales, Kutua will have plenty of opportunity to leave his competitors with a bitter taste in their mouths.