Daily Harvest Hires Optoro Legal Chief as First General Counsel

Aug. 2, 2021, 9:08 PM

Daily Harvest Inc., a direct-to-consumer food delivery service, has hired Adam Wegner as its first-ever general counsel.

Wegner spent the past six years as the top lawyer for Optoro Inc., which helps retailers manage and sell returned merchandise and excess inventory. Before that he spent a decade at Exclusive Resorts LLC, the Denver-based luxury vacation club.

Daily Harvest, founded in 2015 by current CEO Rachel Drori, has touted its “farm-freezing” method for delivering organic produce for soups and smoothies. Daily Harvest’s backers include the private equity firm VMG Partners, as well as celebrities like Bobby Flay, Gwyneth Paltrow, Shaun White, and Serena Williams.

Wegner’s hire at Daily Harvest, which he confirmed in an email to Bloomberg Law, comes as the New York-based company has watched its business expand during the coronavirus pandemic.

Forbes.com reported in late July that Daily Harvest is mulling a potential initial public offering after reaching over $250 million in revenue to date. The outlet, citing anonymous sources, said Daily Harvest had explored its strategic options within the last year but was leaning toward an IPO at a $700 million valuation.

Daily Harvest posted a job listing this past April looking for a new general counsel. The company, which back in 2019 sought to recruit a head of legal, is also currently hiring for a business and legal affairs consultant that will work with Daily Harvest’s creative team on a project or hourly basis.

Public records show that Barnes & Thornburg has handled trademark work for Daily Harvest. The company has also found itself embroiled in trademark disputes and other litigation that has led to roles for McCarter & English and New York’s Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman and BraunHagey & Borden, according to court filings.

Optoro hired Wegner as its legal chief in 2016 and he spent six months that year as interim CFO for the privately held, Lanham, Md.-based company.

“Our system is such that we take data from our clients, the large retailers, and we’re also supplying them with data,” Wegner told The National Law Journal in 2017 for a story about the in-house legal group assisting Optoro in its data gathering efforts. “They’re relying on our data to validate what they’re doing with these returns.”

Founded in 2010, Optoro has raised roughly $245 million to date. The returns optimization specialist, which closed a $75 million fundraising round in 2018, sold a minority stake the following year to Swedish furniture giant Ikea Group Corp.

Optoro has found a replacement for Wegner in deputy general counsel Zoe Sharp. As of Aug. 1, Sharp took over as general counsel, she said via email. Sharp also confirmed that Optoro has yet to name a new deputy general counsel.

At Exclusive Resorts, Wegner was general counsel and executive vice president of strategy and corporate development. Prior to that Wegner served as general counsel for outpatient surgery center operator Starpoint Health Inc. and Exodus Communications Inc., a former internet services provider.

Wegner’s legal career began in the early 1990s when as an associate in Washington at what is now Squire Patton Boggs and now-defunct Howrey. In 1995 he joined Fenwick & West in Palo Alto, Calif. That move led Wegner to eventually embark on an in-house path when Exodus, a former Fenwick client, hired him as legal chief in 1997.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com;
John Hughes in Washington at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com

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