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Food sharing platform OLIO recruits new executives from Just Eat, Deliveroo, and Sony Music

young woman with glasses smiling
4 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland

Iona Carter, Tess Kermode and Alberto Lo Bue are some of the recent hires making up the new senior team, image courtesy of OLIO

OLIO, the UK start-up which tackles food waste through its food-sharing platform, is appointing eight new senior level executives to support the company as it focuses on reaching one billion users by 2030.

The new C-Suite supporting the platform’s founders, Tessa Clarke and Saasha Celestial-One, includes Iona Carter, who will join as a Chief Brand Officer to help the company turn into a recognisable and global sustainable brand. She comes with experience in brand strategy at the luxury homes company Plum Guide and Sony Music, where she supported several big-name artists like Beyonce, Daft Punk, and George Ezra.

Carter said: “I’m thrilled to be joining the OLIO team to help realise such an extraordinarily ambitious, yet essential vision: to reinvent consumption.

“It’s no secret that change isn’t happening fast enough. Commercial greenwashing and sustainability lip service is not helping. We need leadership — and OLIO is a true pioneer in demonstrating how for-profit brands can authentically engage with the existential challenge of our times. 

“I think there’s huge potential to build a brand of both scale and meaning; for OLIO to be at the forefront of a movement to retrain our modern impulse to buy and throw away.”

Alberto Lo Bue will join OLIO as Managing Director of its Food Waste Heroes programme. He comes from Deliveroo, where he developed the ‘Deliveroo for Work’ scheme, allowing companies to create custom meal orders for their teams, and source catered food for events. In his new role, Lo Bue will help the start-up partner with new businesses who are looking to reduce their edible food waste by connecting with the app’s 40,000+ volunteers redistributing leftover food with their local communities. Partners already include KFC, Tesco, Pret a Manger and Booker.

Lo Bue commented: “In a world that is not moving nearly at the pace that is required to address the climate crises, I truly believe OLIO can be a beacon of hope for humanity and demonstrate how billions of small actions can change the world just as much if not more than actions from the top.

“I’m delighted to be taking on such an important and exciting role which will help take OLIO to the next level both in terms of its growth and impact as an organisation, and in becoming one of the most transformational companies of our generation.”

With experience working for Uber as a former Business Development Strategist, as well as holding several senior positions at Citigroup, Tess Kermode will join the company as a Director of International Expansion, with the aim of increasing growth in Mexico, Singapore and Ireland.

Kermode said: “We’ve seen really encouraging organic adoption of OLIO outside the UK, with transactions happening in over 60 countries. With more focus on these markets we have a huge opportunity to reduce waste across the globe.

“I’m really looking forward to applying the many learnings I have from scaling Uber, to now helping solve the climate crisis. Reducing food waste is the #1 solution to the climate crisis according to Project DrawDown and OLIO is at the heart of solving it.

Another new recruit includes Alex Higgs, previously the Director of Product Strategy at Just Eat. Taking on the role of Chief Product Officer at OLIO, Higgs intends to increase what the start-up can offer its ever-expanding user base.

Higgs commented: “The climate crisis is very real, and key to addressing it is reinventing the unsustainable model of consumption that the world has sleepwalked into.

“OLIO’s mission is an unashamedly and necessarily ambitious one, and I am delighted to be part of the experienced and impact-obsessed leadership team that has been tasked with achieving it.”

Higgs will also work together with Fabian Diaz, who joins the C-Suite team as a Chief Technology Officer with previous experience at Amazon and Delivery Hero LATAM. Diaz will also be in charge of growing OLIO’s tech team from 15 to 45 people by the end of this year.

Other new employees in the senior level team will include former VP for People at Geckoboard and, Thaisa Money, who will take the role of People and Culture Director to further scale the start-up and manage the company’s HR systems. Gareth Main will join OLIO as director of growth after creating the first reader revenue strategy for The Guardian newspaper. Finally, Rohan Sheth, previously an investment banker and strategy consultant, will organise the start-up’s Finance and Legal & Compliance teams as Chief of Staff.