What does someone do after nearly 25 years working at a fast-food burger chain? Go vegan, naturally.
According to the Associated Press, former McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson—who got offered millions of dollars to step down from his role at the struggling chain—has joined the board of plant-based protein company Beyond Meat. The California-based start-up recreates items like chicken and beef without any animal products.
While Thompson signed a non-compete clause when he left McDonald’s, a spokesperson for the chain says that that he is not violating the terms of the agreement, revealing that McDonald’s doesn’t appear to see veggie burgers and chicken-free chicken nuggets as competition. Entrepreneur notes Thompson will likely take his “deep knowledge of the fast food industry, and apply it to selling ‘mock meat’ burgers and chicken strips [to the fast food world].” Perhaps McDonald’s shouldn’t be so fast to disregard Thompson’s newest gig after all.
Thompson is just the latest power player to get involved with Beyond Meat. The board also includes Seth Goldman, who is the co-founder and CEO of Honest Tea. The vegan company counts tech billionaire Bill Gates as an investor too, and Los Angeles Clippers’ guard J.J. Redick signed on as a spokesperson for Beyond Meat in September.