Irwin D. Simon
Executive Chairman of the Board
Mr. Irwin D. Simon has served as Executive Chairman of Whole Earth Brands since June 2020 and has served as Executive Chairman of Act II since December 2018. Mr. Simon has more than 30 years of business experience in many domestic and international leadership and operating roles. Mr. Simon founded The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAIN) in 1993, which went on to become a leading organic and natural products company with a mission to be the leading marketer, manufacturer and seller of organic and natural, better-for-you products, committed to growing sustainably while continuing to implement environmentally sound business practices and manufacturing processes. He led Hain Celestial for more than 25 years and grew the business with operations in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, as President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman until November 2018 and as a Director until December 2018. Prior to Hain Celestial, Mr. Simon was employed in various marketing and sales positions at Slim-Fast Foods Company, a dietary supplement foods company, and The Häagen-Dazs Company, a frozen dessert company, which became a division of Grand Metropolitan, a multi-national luxury brands company, where his responsibilities included managing the franchisee system and company-owned retail stores. In the last five years, he has also served as Chairman of the Board of Aphria Inc. (NYSE: APHA), a global cannabis company (where in February 2019 he was appointed interim Chief Executive Officer, to serve in such capacity until Aphria’s Board of Directors identifies a permanent replacement), Presiding Director at MDC Partners Inc., a provider of marketing, activation and communications solutions and services, a Director of Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), a large retail bookseller and (until 2018) as a Director of Chop’t Creative Salad Company, a fast-casual dining company. Previously, he served as a Director of Jarden Corporation, a consumer products company, until its merger with Newell Rubbermaid Inc.
Mr. Anuraag Agarwal has served as a Director of Whole Earth Brands since June 2020 and served as a Director of Act II since April 2019. Mr. Agarwal is Group Head of Business Development, Strategy and Mergers & Acquisitions at Future Group, a consumer-oriented conglomerate with interests in retail, consumer brands, food parks, manufacturing, logistics, data sciences, media, insurance and financial services, whose few public limited companies are listed on the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange in India. Mr. Agarwal has been actively involved in structuring, and overseeing Future Group’s international joint ventures, partnerships and alliances and is a member of the board of directors of some of its existing and former joint ventures and alliances, including those with The Migros Group in Switzerland, Hain Celestial, 7-Eleven, Inc. and Staples, Inc. in the United States, Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited in New Zealand and Clarks in the United Kingdom. He has also helped spearhead, directly and through board participation, various investment transactions of Future Group in the consumer and digital space. Additionally, since 2017, Mr. Agarwal has been the interim Chief Executive Officer of Amar Chitra Katha Private Limited, an Indian comic book company. Prior to joining Future Group in 2012, Mr. Agarwal was an investment banker focusing primarily on mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, private placements and principal investments, initially at Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette and then for more than ten years at Berenson & Company, a boutique investment bank. During this time, he was actively involved in executing transactions of a variety of sizes across a wide range of industries including consumer goods, financial services, infrastructure, manufacturing, media, retail, utilities, and technology.
Steven M. Cohen
Steven M. Cohen, has served as a Director of Whole Earth Brands since June 2020. Mr. Cohen previously served as Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated. He also served as Secretary to New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, in addition to serving as Counselor and Chief of Staff in the Office of the New York Attorney General under Attorney General Cuomo. In private practice, Mr. Cohen has represented a wide array of corporations and individuals in complex commercial, criminal, and regulatory matters. He previously served as the Chief of the Violent Gangs Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Mr. Cohen received his B.A. from New York University and his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is a member of the New York University Board of Trustees and University of Pennsylvania Law School Board of Advisors. He currently serves as the NY Trustee of the Gateway Development Corporation and previously served as the Vice Chairman of the Port Authority of NY & NJ.
Denise Faltischek has served as a Director of Whole Earth Brands since June 2020. She has served as Chief Strategy Officer of Aphria Inc. (NYSE: APHA, TSX: APHA), a leading global cannabis company, since September 2019 and has more than 14 years of leadership and operational experience in consumer-packaged goods businesses. As Chief Strategy Officer of Aphria, she collaborates with the CEO on the company’s global strategy and oversees the medical and international businesses. From July 2005 until August 2019, Ms. Faltischek served in numerous roles within The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAIN), a leading organic and natural products company with operations in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Prior to her role as Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Corporate Secretary of Hain, she served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer from November 2013 to April 2018; Senior Vice President and General Counsel from October 2010 to November 2013; General Counsel from October 2009 to October 2010; Senior Associate General Counsel from April 2009 to October 2009; and Associate General Counsel from July 2005 until April 2009. Prior to her employment with Hain, she was with the law firm of Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, P.C., where she practiced corporate and securities law.
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
Ira J. Lamel
Mr. Ira J. Lamel,CPA, has served as a Director of Whole Earth Brands since June 2020 and served as Act II’s Chief Financial Officer since December 2018. Mr. Lamel has over 40 years of experience in finance and accounting. He currently serves as a Director of Novanta Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVT), a leading global supplier of core technology solutions for medical and advanced industrial original equipment manufacturers. Mr. Lamel was Senior Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer of Hain Celestial from 2013 to 2014 and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Hain Celestial from 2001 to 2013. Previously, Mr. Lamel was an audit partner in the New York area practice of E&Y. He retired from E&Y after a 29-year career.
John M. McMillin
Mr. John M. McMillin has served as a Director of Whole Earth Brands since June 2020 and served as a Director of Act II since April 2019. Mr. McMillin is a Limited Partner with Lord Abbett & Co., LLC, an independent, privately-held money management firm including mutual funds, institutional and managed accounts, a position he has held since October 2018. From 2007 to 2018, Mr. McMillin was a Partner, conducting equity research covering approximately 70 for large and mid-cap companies in the consumer staples sector in the United States. Mr. McMillin was also Managing Director and Senior Food Analyst at Prudential Equity Group and Prudential Securities from 1985 to 2007 where he was inducted into The Wall Street Journal “Best on the Street” Stock Picking Hall of Fame in 1996. From 1978 to 1980, Mr. McMillin worked in the securities industry at Sterling Grace & Co., and from 1981 to 1985 at Mabon Nugent, Philips, Appel & Walden.