Interim Chief Executive Officer, Director
Michael Franklin has served as Interim Chief Executive Officer since January 1, 2023. Mr. Franklin has served as a Director of Whole Earth Brands since August 2022. Mr. Franklin is currently a Partner at Mariposa Capital LLC (“Mariposa”), a Miami-based family investment firm focused on long-term value creation across various industries, including CPG. In his role at Mariposa, Mr. Franklin actively supports operational improvements and M&A execution. Michael serves as a board member of Royal Oak Enterprises LLC and Curio Brands Holdings LLC. Prior to joining Mariposa, Mr. Franklin served as a private investor at Viking Global Investors LP. He started his career in investment banking at Centerview Partners.
University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business, BS, Economics
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Portwood brings over 30 years of corporate financial management and executive leadership experience with both public and private companies, including as a CFO and Controller. Most recently, he was CFO for Tegra Global, a private sports apparel manufacturer. Previously, he served as EVP & CFO for Akorn, Inc., a generic pharmaceutical company, where he took over financial leadership amid complex circumstances to improve Akorn’s capital structure. He also held a ten-year tenure at The Home Depot, Inc. as VP & Corporate Controller, where he directed a team of over 525 associates and oversaw all aspects of the accounting and reporting functions. Prior to this, Mr. Portwood served as the Controller for the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, where he successfully led several acquisitions and subsequent integrations. Mr. Portwood began his career as a CPA with PriceWaterhouseCoopers. To learn more about Mr. Portwood, please visit his LinkedIn profile.
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business – MBA
University of Montana – BS, Business Administration
Chief Accounting Officer
Brian Litman has served as the Company’s Chief Accounting Officer since September 2021, and joined the Company as Corporate Controller and Treasurer in June of 2020. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Litman spent 22 years at Tribune Media Company, a media company owning a variety of newspapers, television stations and other media assets, where he served in several roles, including SVP/Controller & Chief Accounting Officer from February 2008 to April 2020 and VP/Assistant Controller from February 2005 to February 2008.
Northern Illinois University – BS, Accountancy
Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management - MBA
Chief Legal Officer
Ira Schlussel has served as VP, General Counsel & Secretary of Whole Earth Brands since June 2020 and as Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of subsidiary Flavors Holding Inc. since May 2016.
Mr. Schlussel oversees corporate legal matters, including compliance, governance, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, litigation, contracts, and employee-related issues. Prior to joining Flavors Holdings, Mr. Schlussel served as SVP, General Counsel of HelloWorld (now Merkle Promotions and Loyalty), a global leader in online promotions. From 2007 to 2016, Mr. Schlussel was part of numerous strategic acquisitions and the ultimate sale and rebranding of the organization. Mr. Schlussel’s legal career spans nearly three decades, which also includes private practice in the areas of general corporate litigation, estate planning and real estate, as well as corporate counsel positions for numerous business ventures. He has proven to be a trusted business partner and dependable leader. He was named General Counsel of the Year by Crain’s Detroit in 2014. To learn more about Mr. Schlussel, please visit his LinkedIn profile.
University of Michigan – BA, Political Science, graduated cum laude
Georgetown University Law Center – Juris Doctor
Chief Human Resources Officer
Trisha Fox has served as the Chief Human Resources Officer of Whole Earth Brands since January 2021 and brings over 25 years of Human Resources experience to the company. Prior to joining Whole Earth Brands, Ms. Fox served as Chief Human Resources Officer for Viad Corp, a publicly-traded live events and travel company where she provided strategic and operational direction to a global team supporting 5,000 employees. Prior to Viad Corp, Ms. Fox was the Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Fifth Third Bank and was the Senior Director of Human Resources at Dean Foods. Ms. Fox spent ten years in human resources leadership roles at PepsiCo, where her experience working with business leaders on top consumer brands makes her a valuable addition to the team. She began her career at Shell Oil Company. To learn more about Ms. Fox, please visit her LinkedIn profile.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania – BS, Human Resources
West Virginia University – MS, Industrial and Labor Relations
President, Flavors & Ingredients Division
Jeff Robinson joined in December 2020 as President of Whole Earth Brands Flavors & Ingredients division. Mr. Robinson began in his career with subsidiary Mafco Worldwide, LLC in 1992. Most recently, he was responsible for the licorice extract business, including the restructuring of Mafco’s global manufacturing footprint, managing licorice extract sales and improving the supply chain. Mr. Robinson served as Mafco’s CFO from 2003 to 2013. During his tenure as CFO, he was part of the successful acquisition and integration of two Chinese manufacturing operations for its licorice derivative business. Mr. Robinson left Mafco in 2014 for three years (rejoining Mafco in 2017) to work as CFO of Frutarom USA (now part of International Flavors & Fragrances - IFF) managing six acquisitions and three factory integrations. He also served as Assistant Controller for MacAndrews and Forbes Holdings and worked as an auditor for Ernst & Young. To learn more about Mr. Robinson, please visit his LinkedIn profile.
Fairfield University – BS, Accounting and licensed CPA
Vice President & Managing Director North America
Vice President & Managing Director Western Europe
Vice President & Managing Director APAC
Vice President & Managing Director South Asia, Middle East & Africa
Vice President & Managing Director Latin America
Chief Marketing Officer
Vice President of R&D and Regulatory
Senior Vice President, Chief Supply Chain Officer
Senior Vice President, Asia Operations
Senior Vice President, Sales and R&D
Controller and Global Finance Director