Crop Enhancement Expands Leadership Team with Chief Business and Technology Officers

Crop Enhancement Expands Leadership Team with Chief Business and Technology Officers 

Jean Pougnier joins agtech innovator as chief business officer, Dr. Damian Hajduk
moves to chief technology officer; Crop Enhancement’s CropCoat® product performs in field trials on coffee and almond crops

SAN JOSE, Calif.— Dec. 11, 2019: Crop Enhancement Inc., an innovator of sustainable agrochemical products that protect or enhance crop yields, has appointed Jean Pougnier as chief business officer. Mr. Pougnier will lead the company’s efforts to identify strategic partners and establish relationships with go-to-market partners and influencers that will position the company for maximum commercial success. As part of the expansion of the leadership team, Damian A. Hajduk, Ph.D. is promoted to chief technology officer from his former role as VP of research and development.

“With our initial product, CropCoat, continuing to prove its effectiveness in field trials, it’s time to accelerate on two key fronts: strategic go-to-market partnerships and product development. These important executive appointments enable Crop Enhancement to accelerate our commercial initiatives while ensuring we broaden our technical capabilities to address additional market opportunities,” said Kevin Chen, Ph.D., CEO of Crop Enhancement.

Mr. Pougnier has held leadership positions in the crop protection industry for more than 25 years and brings a solid track record of business and marketing leadership that includes 35 years at DuPont. He was most recently VP of business development at AMVAC. Prior to that role, he was the global business development and strategic planning director for DuPont’s multi-billion-dollar crop protection business, and eventually facilitated integration of part of that business into FMC in 2017. His exceptional understanding of the marketplace helped propel the DuPont business to anticipate market trends and outperform the competition. He also led the negotiation for several highly innovative licensing agreements involving DuPont’s novel blockbuster active ingredients, with the outcome of creating significant incremental revenues and earnings for DuPont.

“To address increasing market demand for sustainably grown food, and heightened regulatory pressure on synthetic pesticides, growers and farmers need new technologies to complement their existing approaches,” said Jean Pougnier, chief business officer of Crop Enhancement. “I am looking forward to connecting with leaders in the agrochemical sector to discuss how Crop Enhancement can help expand growers’ portfolio of crop protection approaches.”

Rounding out Crop Enhancement’s leadership team, Dr. Hajduk has been appointed chief technology officer. He joined Crop Enhancement in April 2017 and has been responsible for steering the company’s product development, regulatory, field, and manufacturing efforts. In his new role as CTO, Dr. Hajduk will direct all technology-related aspects to maximize the potential of the company’s existing platform while identifying opportunities to expand the company’s IP portfolio and develop new applications for the platform.

Crop Enhancement hits trial program milestones

These appointments follow several key milestones achieved in the company’s trial programs with its CropCoat® product, which enables growers to protect high value fruit, vegetable, and tropical crops through physical modes of action (MOAs). Recent highlights include:

  • Coffee — protection against coffee berry borer and coffee leaf miner insects, as well as coffee leaf rust (a fungal pathogen)
  • Almond — protection against navel orangeworm insects
  • Detailed mechanistic studies on multiple agronomically significant pests

Crop Enhancement’s products target annual crop values in excess of $100 billion worldwide. To protect or enhance crop yields in these regions, Crop Enhancement has developed proprietary films and formulations that modify plant surfaces (leaves, stems, fruit, and seeds) to improve their resistance to pests and diseases and decrease the need for synthetic pesticides and pesticide applications. Crop Enhancement’s formulations can also be applied with agricultural inputs like nutrients, fertilizers and other active ingredients, enabling farmers to precisely control their release, thereby reducing costs and improving yields.

About Crop Enhancement
We work at the intersection of materials science and biology to bring new and effective solutions to agriculture that help growers protect their crops and the environment, while meeting the global need for sustainably produced foods. Our investors include MLS Capital, 1955 Capital, Phoenix Venture Partners, Cavallo Ventures, and Bandgap Ventures. For more information, follow @CropEnhancement on Twitter.

Media contact:

Tim Cox, ZingPR,, 650-369-7784