Soylent Founder Steps Down as CEO: 'If You Love Something, Set It Free'

By Bryan Menegus on at

In a blog post on Tuesday, Soylent founder Rob Rhinehart announced he was resigning as the company’s CEO. “If you love something, set it free,” his goodbye post began, which may not be the standard way to announce one is stepping down, but is still one of the more grounded statements from a man whose oeuvre includes phrases like “grocery shopping is a multisensory living nightmare.”

Rhinehart—whose personal achievements include giving up on the electrical grid, throwing out his fridge, and (to the chagrin of neighbors) attempting to live out of a shipping container which he dropped in LA without permits—wrote on the company website that he’s either grown bored with, or has been made obsolete by his contributions to the brand:

Along the way I have seen my role as CEO evolve, especially enjoying the process of delegating my responsibilities to more skilled and experienced scientists, managers, and executives. These specialists are clearly better at their roles than I would be, especially if I were handling tons of other responsibilities simultaneously, which is the exciting early stage of a startup. But that time has passed.

Bryan Crowley, the president of Soylent’s parent company, will now take over the business of the meal replacement product that caused consumers to experience “uncontrollable diarrhoea” last year and was banned in Canada this year. Rhinehart, who will serve as Soylent’s executive chairman, has not publicly announced plans for any new ventures.

Earlier this year, Rhinehart wiped his personal blog clean, but interested readers can still find some of his most colourful spoutings via the Internet Archive.

On cooking: “I am all for self reliance but repeating the same labour over and over for the sake of existence is the realm of robots.”

On trade: “Shipping is a problem. I wish container ships had nuclear engines but it’s still much more efficient and convenient than retail.”

And on having a magnet implanted in his hand and hovering said magnet-hand near electrical outlets: “I can feel fortresses of industry miles away burning prehistoric hydrocarbons by the megaton.”

All of which serve to make his send-off note to the meal replacement company he founded in 2013 startlingly level-headed.


More Business Posts: