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3 min read

Pivot Bio elects Roger Underwood as Board of Directors Chairperson

Berkeley, Cal. – November 2, 2022 – Pivot Bio, agriculture’s leading nitrogen innovator, announced today that Roger Underwood, entrepreneur and ag tech investor, has been elected to the Pivot Bio Board of Directors as an independent director and Chairperson. Additionally, the company announces that Lisa Safarian is promoted to President & Chief Operating Officer, Evan Wittenberg joins as its first Chief People Officer, and Ernie Sanders is promoted to Senior Vice President-Product Innovation. 

“Throughout my career in agriculture as an entrepreneur and ag tech investor, I have seen only a few inventions that have the potential to be truly transformational, and Pivot Bio is one of those technologies,” said Roger Underwood, Pivot Bio Board Chairperson. “The positive impact the company’s technology can provide to growers, the industry, and our future is remarkable. I am very pleased to be working alongside a deeply committed Board, the company’s co-founders, and a tremendously talented team.”  

Roger Underwood - Board of Directors Chairperson 
Entrepreneur and co-founder of Becker Underwood, Underwood was recently elected to the Pivot Bio Board of Directors as an independent Board member and its chairperson. Underwood dedicated 30 years to building a leading global company in seed-applied biological products for the agricultural sector, which culminated in the acquisition of Becker Underwood by BASF in 2012. Underwood has served as a strategic advisor for Pivot Bio since 2018 and is one of its investors. Underwood also serves on several ag tech boards of directors.  

Lisa Nunez Safarian - President & Chief Operating Officer 
Safarian has been promoted to president in addition to her current role as COO. In this expanded role, she will have responsibility for the company’s operations, including commercial operations, manufacturing & supply chain, product innovation, information technology, finance, and human resources. Safarian remains a director on Pivot Bio’s Board. Prior to joining Pivot Bio as COO in May 2022, Safarian led Bayer’s $9.5 billion North American crop science business.  

Evan Wittenberg - Chief People Officer 
As CPO, Wittenberg brings decades of human resource experience, spanning corporate, academic and government settings; his expertise leading organizations will be advantageous for the innovative and cohesive team as the company scales. Prior to joining Pivot Bio, Wittenberg served as CPO at Ancestry and at Box during its IPO, in addition to roles at HP and Google. 

Ernie Sanders - Senior Vice President, Product Innovation 
Sanders’ promotion to SVP-Product Innovation reflects his ongoing success in leading the design, development, and advancement of Pivot Bio products. In his new role, Sanders will continue to play a vital role leading the expansion of the company's product offering, on both a national and global scale. Before joining Pivot Bio, Sanders served as the Global Launch and Product Expansions for Seed Applied Solutions Leader at Monsanto.  

“Pivot Bio was founded on the belief that farmers deserve better nitrogen, and we’ve demonstrated that our game-changing products are easier to use, more resilient, and impactful,” said Karsten Temme, Ph.D., Pivot Bio co-founder and CEO. “We are grateful for the trust farmers have placed in our team and our product. The expertise Roger, Lisa, Evan, and Ernie bring to the company and our customers will help accelerate our growth as we continue to serve our world’s farmers while improving the health of our planet.” 


About Pivot Bio:  
At Pivot Bio, we believe in meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations. Our unparalleled understanding of the crop microbiome will help create a future with cleaner water and air. We are dedicated to providing farmers with solutions so they can grow high-quality, environmentally-responsible and sustainably-focused crops that help feed families worldwide. For more information, visit www.pivotbio.com  and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.  



Tracy Willits