Michael became President and CEO of Neptune Wellness Solutions in July 2019. Michael is the founder of Random Occurrence, a venture capital and private equity firm. He invested in and cofounded Schmidt’s Naturals, one of the world’s fastest growing wellness brands, leading it from fledgling start-up to acquisition in 2017 by Unilever and onto record breaking growth in 2018. He remained CEO of Schmidt’s Naturals until June 2019, leading its rapid expansion into new and innovative products, retailers and global markets.
Michael is a new breed of unconventional CEO with a personal mission to invest and scale companies globally that will make sustainable innovation and modern wellness solutions accessible to the world. He believes that natural products are the future and that every person deserves natural products that work and minimize their harm to people, the planet and animals.
Through all his investments, Michael is looking toward future technologies, including AI and machine learning to create stronger connections and personalized products for customers. He is a passionate advocate for plant-based solutions a leader for sustainability and has pushed for an end to animal testing in cosmetics. Raised in New York, Michael’s dyslexia made school challenging, but that perspective allowed him to identify opportunities others missed. He became a technology and marketing wunderkind by his mid-teens. He rapidly gained a reputation as an innovative entrepreneur, creating $85 million in revenue by his twenties.
Dr. Toni Rinow is well known for accelerating revenue streams through acquisitions, corporate development, sales and marketing, and financings in the global healthcare and consumer product markets. Her professional career has included leadership roles in both public and private pharmaceutical and consumer product organizations, where she spearheaded acquisitions across Canada, Latin America, and India.
Toni has successfully facilitated the negotiation of international corporate alliances valued over $100M and overseen a life science investment portfolio with $400M under management. She held the position of General Manager of Jubilant DraxImage, a global leader in nuclear medicine with over $250M in sales in over 22 countries.
Toni has a keen interest in robotics, natural language processing and machine learning especially with a focus on the retail consumer markets and was trained at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In addition to her double Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and Accounting from McGill University, she holds a doctorate in physical chemistry from the Université de Montréal (Ph.D), and a chemical engineering degree from the European Higher Institute of Chemistry in Strasbourg, France. Dr. Rinow believes in giving back to the community and sits on the Board of Directors of several non-for profit organizations.
Mr. DiPede brings a 20-plus year proven track record of driving B2C and B2B sales of consumer packaged goods (CPG) and health and wellness products across all channels, including national retail chains, food/drug/mass retailers and e-commerce. He joins Neptune from Walmart where he served as Director of Territory & Global Export Sales, responsible for leading a team of senior territory sales professionals in domestic, global and e-commerce sales delivering $1B in revenue. At Neptune, Mr. DiPede will be responsible for driving sales of existing and new products developed by Biodroga and the Company’s Health & Wellness Innovation division.
François-Karl joined Neptune in 2016 as Vice-President, Scientific Affairs following the acquisition of Biodroga Nutraceuticals. He was appointed to Vice President Science and Innovation of Neptune’s Nutrition Business in 2017, where he oversees research and development, product development and quality assurance programs. He began his career in 2001 as a research Chemist for a Quebec-based pharmaceutical company. In 2005, he transitioned into the Natural Health Product industry as the Director, Scientific Affairs for Biodroga and later on as Vice President, where he was instrumental in the company’s growth. François-Karl holds a master’s degree in organic chemistry from Université de Montréal.
Marc joined the company in 2016 as Vice President Sales, following the acquisition of Biodroga Nutraceuticals. In 2018, he became responsible for the global sales of Neptune’s Nutrition Business and now oversees the entire nutrition sales team. His career in the health and nutrition industry began over 25 years ago in consumer health brands. He also has experience working with Bioriginal Corporation and an ecommerce company specialized in Omega-3. In 2009, Marc became Vice-President Sales of Biodroga, where he largely contributed to the growth of the company. He studied commerce at Concordia University.
Michel plays an essential role in helping position the company in business segments characterized by larger size and growth. During his 16-year career at Neptune, he has held a variety of positions, including Chairman of the Board of Directors from 2000-2008 and Vice-President Business Development where he was instrumental in the company’s early development and growth by helping create a new nutrition products category, Omega-3 krill oil. His entrepreneurial drive led him to build a start-up venture in residential construction components. He previously worked for large corporations, including Armstrong World Industries and Reichhold Chemicals, where he held senior management business development positions. Michel also had a political career, during which he was active as alderman for 20 years for one of the largest cities in Quebec. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Concordia University.