Rich Riley

Co-CEO Origin Materials, Inc. , Northeastern U.S.

With his company, Origin Materials, Inc., (NASDAQ: ORGN), Rich Riley is starting a revolution — a revolution for sustainable materials.  

Origin Materials, the world’s leading carbon negative materials company, has spent the past 12 years developing a technology to create carbon negative plastics and other materials from wood waste instead of oil and gas.   

Carbon-negative materials reduce greenhouse gas emissions when produced. Over the course of their entire life cycle, they will remove more carbon from the atmosphere than they release.  

Origin’s unique technology can turn sustainable wood residue into a wide range of materials including clothing, textiles, plastics, packaging, car parts, tires, carpeting, toys and fuels, with almost a trillion addressable market and over $9.3 billion in customer demand. What is special about Origin’s products is that they are not only carbon negative, but they also are recyclable and cost competitive with petroleum-based products.   

The company’s first commercial plant is expected to become operational later this year.  

“As our plants come online, we will have an enormously positive environmental impact as we replace materials such as PET, or polyethylene terephthalate plastic, which today is made from oil and has a very high carbon footprint, with our carbon negative materials,” Riley says.  

In 2017, Nestlé Waters and Danone formed an alliance with Origin to commercialize the platform’s first product, plant-based PET plastic with a low carbon footprint. These types of partnerships are what will help Origin achieve its mission — enable the world’s transition to sustainable materials.  

Riley believes that in the future, making products won’t be an emissions problem – but an opportunity to capture carbon in durable goods.  

Since October 2020, Riley has served as Co-CEO and a member of the board of directors of Origin Materials and has been an adviser to and investor in Origin since 2010.   

Before that, Riley was the CEO of Shazam Entertainment Ltd., a leading mobile music application that was acquired by Apple Inc. in 2018. He also spent 13 years at Yahoo! Inc., including in the role of EVP, Americas, following the company’s acquisition of his startup, which invented the browser toolbar.    

Riley was a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award, featured in Forbes 40 under 40 Ones to Watch and included three times in Billboard Magazine’s Power 100 list. He is a Trustee at St. Luke’s School, Board Member of Boys Scouts of America, Connecticut Yankee Council, and Advisory Board Member to the Entrepreneurship Department at the Wharton School of Business. Riley received a B.S. in economics with concentrations in finance and entrepreneurial management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. 

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