Amyris Layoffs 2023: what happened with the company?

Is there Amyris layoffs? Amyris, a biotechnology and cosmetics company, has announced that John Melo is stepping down as CEO. A statement from the business states that he is leaving the Board of directors. The termination is effective right away.

Amyris, who specializes in the celebrity market, owns various beauty companies. Emeryville, California-based Amyris, Inc. manufactures synthetic biotechnology products and renewable chemicals. Amyris offers its products to the market for various purposes. It includes flavors, perfumes, cosmetic ingredients, specialty and performance chemicals, and medicines. It also created a sugarcane-derived version of the chemical squalane. The fragrance tycoon Givaudan purchased it from the Company earlier this year, along with other ingredients.

The Company’s CFO, Han Kieftenbeld, will continue as CFO while serving as interim CEO. According to a statement from the Company, Amyris will also let go of an unspecified number of workers to cut costs by up to $250 million. To achieve those cost-cutting objectives earlier this year, it also engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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Overview of Amyris

Amyris is a market-leading synthetic biotechnology firm. It uses fermentation and its unique Lab-to-MarketTM technology platform to convert the Clean health, beauty, flavor, and fragrance markets to sustainable chemicals. It was established in 2003. Amyris is a leader in science and technology for researching, developing, and manufacturing sustainable ingredients. Amyris makes use of an amazing variety of novel technologies. This includes cutting-edge robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

More than 3,000 goods from the greatest companies in the world contain their ingredients. More than 200 million people use them. Amyris is thrilled to have three consumer brands based on its No Compromise promise of clean ingredients. They are PurecaneTM, a calorie-free sweetener made from sugarcane; PipetteTM; and Biossance clean beauty skincare.

On September 28, 2010, the business went public on NASDAQ (AMRS). Amyris’ skincare line, Biossance, won the 2019 WWD Beauty Inc. Awards for Digital Innovator of the Year.

Amyris secures financing for an important transformation initiative

Through its Lab-to-MarketTM technology platform and clean beauty consumer brands, Amyris, Inc. is speeding up the global shift to sustainable consumption. On June 5, 2023, the Company announced that its Board of Directors had hired PricewaterhouseCoopers’s Business Recovery Services division (“PwC”). Also, it created a subcommittee of the Board (the 

“Restructuring Committee”). It is made up of three independent directors. They will work with Management to carry out a change.

The Company recently announced that it had started a strategic review of every area of its cost structure during its Q1 2023 earnings call on May 9. This is in aid of its Fit-to-Win programs. The Company’s Board of Directors recently reviewed and approved the transformation program. It is what the Management and PwC had been developing over the previous few weeks.

The Company has established a Transformation office to achieve its anticipated cost reduction target of about $250 million from the cost of goods sold and operating costs. It is supported by PwC, which oversees several work streams. This includes reducing force and a simplified version of its business portfolio.

President and CEO John Melo said:

“We are thrilled with the cooperation of the PwC team and our Board Restructuring Committee. They are working on developing and accelerating our “Fit to Win” efficiency and cost-saving initiative. We will continue to deliver sustainable chemistry through our Lab to MarketTM capabilities. Improving operational effectiveness and achieving sustainable growth are crucial and necessary steps in Amyris’ evolution. We also need to invest in our leading client brand portfolio. We are carrying out our plan and moving more quickly towards profitability.”

The Company has agreed to loan revisions with its primary secured lenders, Foris Ventures, LLC, and DSM Finance B.V. It waives all past defaults and ends the prior forbearances with these parties. The Company and Anesma Group, LLC, a Foris affiliate, agreed to a secured term loan facility on June 5, 2023. Under this agreement, Anesma gave the Company access to up to $50 million.

On June 5, 2023, the Company partially drew on this amount. The total proceeds of the funds granted under the Loan Facility are intended to be used by the Company. They will use it for working capital and other general business purposes. A Form 8-K submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission contains more details on this Loan Facility.

John Melo is out at Amyris

After 16 years at the helm, John Melo resigned from his positions as president, CEO, and member of the Board of directors. Emeryville-based biotech Amyris announced the news on June 26, 2023. His resignation took effect right away. Han Kieftenbeld has been named the Company’s temporary CEO by the Board of directors. Kieftenbeld will continue to serve as the organization’s chief financial officer.

“John’s commitment and leadership played a crucial role in the growth of our varied portfolio of consumer brands. As well as in the evolution of Amyris’ Lab-to-Market technology platform. John has made several contributions over the past 16 years, and on behalf of the Board of Directors, I truly appreciate him.” Amyris Board Chair Geoffrey Duyk said it.

“We have complete faith in Han’s ability to guide Amyris as interim CEO through this crucial transformational phase,” he added.

The stock price initially increased in response to the announcement. It increased by about 4% in mid-morning trading, reaching $1.15. It then fell by 9% to close at $1. The corporation, which recently hired PricewaterhouseCoopers to oversee its transformation efforts and save $250 million, made the statement. In that, it is mentioned that it was laying off employees as part of its cost-cutting measures.

To achieve its previously stated cost-cutting goals, the business also disclosed an undetermined global decrease in force. “We are making difficult decisions, such as the choice to reduce force, which we are doing today. The Company did not disclose the number of affected employees.

In a statement, Kieftenbeld stated, “We thank our departing workers for their efforts, devotion, and services to Amyris.

According to Amyris ‘ most recent financial statements, core revenue for the first quarter ended March 31 was $56.1 million. It is a 3 percent decrease from the same period last year. $34.2 million in consumer revenue declined by 1%.

What happened to the business?

Amyris started working on developing a chemical to treat malaria in 2003. It was initiated with a $42 million Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant. It is done by altering the genetics of yeast strains and fermenting them in sugarcane syrup to form hydrocarbon compounds.

The business modified this method to create other “clean” chemicals for various applications. It includes sugarcane-derived squalene as a substitute for the squalene found in deep-sea shark livers.

Givaudan is the biggest manufacturer of fragrances and flavors in the world. Earlier this year, Givaudan bought some of Amyris’ cosmetic ingredients. It includes squalane. Under the agreement, Amyris will keep producing ingredients for Givaudan to use in cosmetics.

Nowadays, a large part of the industry is centered on consumer brands, many connected to celebrities. Before COVID-19, 20% of Amyris’ business consisted of its consumer 

Brands, such as Biossance. 80% of its revenue came from providing ingredients to other businesses.

Yet Melo revealed to WWD in an interview from October 2022 that roughly two-thirds of the Company’s focus was on consumer brands. One-third was spent on providing services to other companies.

The menopausal beauty line Stripes by Naomi Watts, the color cosmetics line Rose Inc. with model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, the hair care line JVN by ‘Queer Eye’ star Jonathan Van Ness, and the beauty line Costa Brazil by former Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa are just a few of its brands.


Amyris started to reduce overhead costs in the first quarter. But this was imposed upon the business owing to a lack of cash and may not be continued moving forward. Initiatives to cut headcount decreased costs by around USD 1 million in the first quarter. Also, consumer marketing expenses decreased by about USD 14 million. The amount spent on media in the first quarter of 2023 was almost 25% of the previous year’s period.

Amyris’ financial situation is getting increasingly dangerous. It’s because Management hasn’t done much to cut losses. Amyris is now highlighting the uncertainty around its ability to continue as a going concern for the following 12 months. This is in contrast to earlier periods. While Management intends to remedy this, they have spent a year trying to stop losses and strengthen the balance sheet with little success. The Company’s long-term future is in danger the longer Amyris delays implementing dramatic reforms, such as extensive layoffs.