So the Chief of Operations at the Beyond Meat corporation, Doug Ramsey, went rage-rage in a public parking lot this past weekend. Ramsey was leaving a University of Arkansas football game when someone in a Subaru pulled out and accidentally tapped the front tire of Ramsey’s vehicle. Rather than assessing damages and possibly exchanging insurance information however, Ramsey reportedly got out of his vehicle and punched through the back windshield of the Subaru. According to the police report, when the Subaru owner exited his vehicle, Ramsey allegedly started punching him and then bit him, “ripping the flesh on the tip of the nose”. Following his Tyson-esque performance, Ramsey then allegedly threatened to kill the Subaru owner. Ramsey was arrested on a third-degree battery charge, as well as for making terroristic threats. He was also suspended from his COO gig with Beyond Meat following the incident. (source)
So what triggered this bizarre act of violence? We know that among the list of additives of Beyond Meat‘s super highly-processed meat-free food product are a number of monosodium glutamate derivatives. Was MSG the trigger for the COO’s rage and bizarre public outburst? Or perhaps it was going meat-free that caused the executive with three decades of previous experience working for Tyson chicken to snap. After all, he did bite the flesh of someone’s face. Maybe Ramsey was caught up in the community passion surrounding college sports. We don’t know if his team won or lost. Or maybe he is a control freak and from his perspective, someone entering his zone and tapping his front tire was analogous to disrespecting him. Maybe he was drinking or drugging during the game. Or maybe if we could talk to his family or previous colleagues from Tyson we would learn that Ramsey is an angry guy just about all of the time and has difficulty regulating his emotions. We know that self-identified ‘high-anger’ drivers are prone to engage in hostile, aggressive thinking, frequently express disbelief about how others drive, and often consider revenge–including physical harm. (source) Or maybe he just hates Subi owners. And who can blame him? The stereotypes suggest they tend to be cult-ish about their cars, lean left, and love bumper stickers.
Whatever the trigger for the outsized ragefest, Beyond Meat‘s stocks have been tumbling for over two years and Ramsey, who was brought in to help the situation, has now created additional unwanted scrutiny for the struggling company. But maybe Beyond Meat execs are to blame for their own troubles. After all, they decided to poach Ramsey from Tyson, a company that had helped to fund them early on before breaking ties to create their own line of meatless fare. (The irony is not lost here.) Rather than looking for someone with connections, maybe next time they should focus on character. Part of Beyond Meat‘s mission statement is: “The positive choices we make every day – no matter how small – can have a great impact on our world”. If they are not going to require a psychological workup for the next person to take the Chief of Operations role, at the very least they should do some basic legwork to be sure the candidate can regulate their emotions and has the ability to make good choices. Because, a good source of protein aside, biting the tip off of someone’s nose definitely does nothing for the meat-free optics.
Contributor: Liam A.