RiceBran Technologies (RIBT) Appoints Interim CEO

September 1, 2016 9:03 AM EDT

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RiceBran Technologies (Nasdaq: RIBT)(Nasdaq: RIBTW) announced that its board of directors has named Dr. Robert Smith, the Company's chief operating officer, interim chief executive officer, effective immediately. Dr. Smith will succeed W. John Short, who will remain with the Company as a member of the board of directors.

Brent Rosenthal, Chairman of the Board stated, "As we begin to implement the strategic changes necessary to unlock the intrinsic value of Ricebran Technologies, we are pleased to welcome Robert as our interim CEO. His in depth knowledge of the science behind our products coupled with his extensive understanding of our operations, make him a perfect candidate to lead our Company towards its promising future. Our recently reconstituted board of directors has been hard at work with management over the last two months developing a strategic plan to move the Company forward and maximize shareholder value. While that plan is being finalized, it is clear to us that the key to our success is to focus on the marketing of our proprietary U.S. human ingredients and products that deliver the all natural, high fiber and high protein nutrition that the current markets are demanding. We intend to work diligently to streamline our operations in order to position the Company for success in this area, as well as in our animal nutrition business. We look forward to Robert's leadership in successfully guiding our Company into the future."

Dr. Robert Smith stated, "I look forward to taking on this important leadership role at RBT to work along with our team of talented employees as we strive to achieve profitable growth for shareholders and operational excellence for customers. We have a renewed focus in driving sales growth in our U.S. businesses through customer diversification and by targeting large CPG opportunities. Our management team intends to work closely with the board to implement our strategic plan and I am confident that together we will usher in a new era of profitable growth for RBT for years to come."

Dr Smith has been an executive with the Company since March 2012, focusing mainly on business development and operations. He has over 20 years developing and managing product and business opportunities in the agricultural, human and animal nutrition, and pharmaceutical industries. Prior to joining RBT, he served as Director of Business Development at HerbalScience Group and has also directed research and development programs at Global Protein Products Inc., PhycoGen Inc., and Dekalb Genetics, a Monsanto Company. Dr. Smith holds a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology, both from the University of Chicago.

"On behalf of the Company, I want to thank John Short for his service at RBT and the many important contributions he has made during his seven years as CEO," continued Rosenthal. "We look forward to his continued contribution as a member of the board of directors."

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