PepsiCo exec gives Applied DNA another slugger

Bringing some pop: PepsiCo Vice Chairman Mehmood Khan will help supply-chain champion Applied DNA Sciences advance into the food packaging and delivery markets.

In another strong recruitment targeting a specific market vertical, Applied DNA Sciences has welcomed PepsiCo’s vice chairman to its Strategic Advisory Board.

Mehmood Khan – also a former PepsiCo executive VP and chief scientific officer, as well as CEO of the Westchester County-based international branding titan’s Global Nutrition Group – will lend his expertise as Applied DNA attempts to expand its supply-chain, anti-counterfeiting and anti-theft technologies to the food production, packaging and delivery markets.

Khan’s arrival marks the second Corporate America heavy hitter to join Applied DNA’s advisory board in less than three months, and the third since the board launched in February 2016. In October, the company announced that former Keyspan Corp. and National Grid U.S. Chairman Robert Catell would head up the board, specifically counseling Applied DNA in its efforts to expand its DNA-based security protocols to the nation’s energy infrastructure.

James Hayward: Khan is “perfect complement” to Applied DNA growth strategy.

Applied DNA Chairman and CEO James Hayward said in October that Catell’s understanding of power-grid infrastructures would serve the Stony Brook-based supply-chain expert well as it ventured into previously unexplored markets. This week, Hayward lavished similar praise on Khan, who brings “keen scientific insight and robust commercial experience” to Applied DNA’s expansion efforts, according to the CEO.

“His decades of involvement in the global food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries, as well as his depth of scientific innovation experience, are a perfect complement to Applied DNA as we expand our core vertical markets,” Hayward said.

Khan leads PepsiCo’s efforts to create breakthroughs in food and product development, packaging and delivery. That’s fertile ground for Applied DNA and its flagship SigNature DNA products, a suite of anti-counterfeiting and anti-theft technologies now protecting everything from U.S. military supplies to imported cars across Scandinavia.

The PepsiCo executive – who studied at the University of Liverpool and has received numerous academic honors from Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and several other international institutions – was also recently appointed vice chairman of the nonprofit U.S. Council for Competitiveness and joined the board of directors of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research.

That FFAR appointment in particular will help Applied DNA take SigNature DNA to an entirely different level, according to Hayward.

“With Dr. Khan’s appointment to the FFAR and its engagement with both the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Applied DNA hopes to optimize their benefits to American agronomy and to the world in general,” the CEO said.

Khan said he was “honored” to join Catell and Gunther Faber, GlaxoSmithKline’s former vice president for sub-Saharan Africa, on the Applied DNA Strategic Advisory Board and to bolster the biotech’s “ongoing efforts to protect the integrity of supply chains across industries.”

“Authentication and traceability across complex global supply chains is a critically important priority worldwide,” Khan said in a statement. “Applied DNA is doing exciting work designed to create innovative solutions that make supply chains more secure.”

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