Miyoko Schinner removed as CEO and accused of stealing “company's property, trade secrets, and confidential information” | Totally Vegan Buzz

Miyoko Schinner removed as CEO and accused of stealing “company’s property, trade secrets, and confidential information”

Miyoko’s Creamery wins legal battle to use ‘dairy’ labels on vegan products
Image: @miyokoscreamery/Instagram

“There are wild untruths about me that are designed to destroy me and get me out of the way.

Miyoko’s Creamery and its founder, Miyoko Schinner, have parted ways as the company enters a new stage of growth.

In a press release, the company wrote: “Miyoko has exited as CEO and is no longer involved in day-to-day operations,” before filing a lawsuit against her in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

While Schinner remains as the company’s board chair, she is no longer involved in day-to-day operations.

Following the public announcement, Schinner revealed on social media that she “was actually removed as CEO back in June of 2022.”

In her LinkedIn post, she wrote: “There is a lot to say about this, but for now, I will share the following.

“As we worked to grow the business, conflict grew around the best path forward for future growth while continuing to live our values, founded on the principles of veganism and animal rights, as well as our B Corp status. That we find ourselves here is representative of the extent to which my views and approach have not always prevailed (especially in the past two years).”

Clarifying her stance, she reiterated: “We did not arrive at this point by my choosing” explaining that she refused an offer to keep an ongoing role “for appearances only.”

She continued: “It is telling that I was patronizingly described as taking the Company from ‘zero to one’ in contrast to what is needed to take the Company from ‘one to 100.’ The results that this Company achieved under my leadership speak for themselves.

“We achieved these results – while I still had the ability to meaningfully ensure it – in a legitimately values-aligned way.”

She further added: “I am honestly uncertain about how things will turn out – especially after some (though not all) of my fellow directors decided that I would not be actively involved with the Company.

“While I am hopeful that a new CEO will be able to maintain our values while also driving growth, I also must temper that optimism with an honest consideration of and concern about what brought us to this point.”


In a turn of events, the company has now filed a complaint accusing Schinner of stealing sensitive company information and proprietary recipes, legal news service Law360 reported.

According to the lawsuit, while Schinner founded the company, she “could not handle these responsibilities” as the company grew.

“She continually demonstrated that she lacked the necessary business and operational management skills to effectively run a rapidly expanding company and recruit and maintain a high-caliber executive team. And, when performance issues were brought to Schinner’s attention, she did not take the necessary steps to address them.”

Moreover, the suit claimed that Schinner, instead of cooperating towards an orderly transition, following her termination as CEO, “hatched a plot to steal the Company’s property, trade secrets, and confidential information so that she could create a competing company.”

As a result, the company “was forced to bring this action to protect its trade secrets and confidential information.”

Schinner’s response

In response to the lawsuit, Schinner has posted a reply on LinkedIn: “I am shocked that certain board members have decided to file a lawsuit against me.

“There are wild untruths about me that are designed to destroy me and get me out of the way. I have been cooperative with the company since my termination…While I am eager to bring the truth to light, I am going to move with the care necessary to ensure that I am operating in accordance with my fiduciary duties as a Director and with applicable legal rules and guidelines.’

Miyoko Creamery- the trajectory of the brand

Miyoko Schinner, a longtime vegan chef, cookbook author, activist, and TV presenter, founded Miyoko Creamery in 2014.

Initially called “Miyoko’s Kitchen,” the business specializes in creating artisan vegan cheeses, butters, and spreads from organic plant-based ingredients such as cashews.

After launching, the brand closed a $1 million seed round and saw 300% year-over-year growth by 2016.

In 2021, the company raised $52 million in a Series C funding round, making its current value $260 million.

The company’s products are now sold at more than 20,000 retailers worldwide.

As an entrepreneur, Schinner earned the title of “Queen of Vegan Cheese” and even received recognition from celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi, and Forbes (which included her in their inaugural 50 Over 50 list).

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