Beyond Meat said its operating chief Doug Ramsey has been suspended, effective immediately, after he was arrested Saturday evening for allegedly punching a man and biting his nose.
The company said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon that Jonathan Nelson, the company’s senior vice president of manufacturing operations, will oversee Beyond’s operations activities on an interim basis.
Ramsey, 53, was charged with terroristic threatening and third-degree battery and booked in the Washington County jail after allegedly assaulting a driver in a parking garage near Razorback Stadium.
Ramsey allegedly punched through the back windshield of a Subaru after it made contact with the front tire of Ramsey’s car, according to a preliminary police report obtained by CNBC. The Subaru owner then got out of his car, and Ramsey allegedly started punching him and bit his nose, “ripping the flesh on the tip of the nose,” according to the report. The victim and a witness also alleged that Ramsey told the Subaru owner he would kill him.
Ramsey has been Beyond Meat’s chief operating officer since December. The news of his arrest after a University of Arkansas football game brought more scrutiny to the vegan food company, which has been struggling with disappointing sales and investor skepticism over its long-term growth prospects. The stock has fallen 75% this year, dragging its market down to $1.02 billion. Just three years ago, the company was valued at $13.4 billion.
Prior to joining Beyond Meat, Ramsey spent three decades at Tyson Foods, overseeing its poultry and McDonald’s businesses. Beyond Meat was relying on his experience to help the company successfully pull off big launches, particularly with fast-food companies like Taco Bell owner Yum Brands and McDonald’s.
Ramsey did not respond to a request for comment from CNBC.