Myco new CEO David Wood

Myco’s new CEO, David Wood

Alternative protein manufacturer Myco has appointed the former boss of collapsed vegan manufacturer VBites as CEO to spearhead its expansion.

David Wood will take charge as the Darlington-based business ramps up production of its plant-based sustainable meat alternative at a purpose-built site in North Yorkshire.

Myco’s growth strategy will include creating 70 new jobs over the next three years.

Wood was most recently MD at Heather Mills plant-based empire VBites, which appointed administrators last week.

He spent almost two years at the business before leaving in November.

Wood also has a long history in the food industry, including roles at Nestlé, Biscuit International and Northumbrian Fine Foods.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Myco, especially at such an exciting time in the company’s expansion,” he said.

“This company has huge potential, and extraordinary work is being done here every single day to make a new generation of mouthwatering and sustainable plant-based products that make swapping out meat that bit easier for consumers. I was blown away by the vision and ethos at Myco, and I couldn’t be more excited about the future and where the company is headed.”

Myco’s ‘Hooba’ plant protein is made from oyster mushrooms in a vertical farming system developed in partnership with Teesside University.

The business claimed the 20,000 sq ft production facility was the first of its kind in the UK, with an automated vertical farming system responsible for planting, growing and harvesting, while AI monitors the sealed environment using cameras and sensors.

Wall’s has already used Hooba in a range of vegan snacking products.

Myco co-founder and chairman John Shepherd added: “This is an exciting time for Myco, and we know David is the right person to help us grow the business.

“His track record speaks for itself, and with decades of experience in the food sector, including sustainable food producers, he’s a perfect fit for what is a key role for Myco.

“We are all delighted he’s joined the business, and we can’t wait to see just how far we go in 2024.”