CRB appoints new CEO and COO following "CRB Operations" formation


The company has created a group uniting the company’s Regional Operations and Technical Operations teams into a single structure

CRB appoints new CEO and COO following

CRB’s Board of Directors has named President Ryan Schroeder as Chief Executive Officer. Schroeder succeeds CEO and CRB co-founder Jeff Biskup, who will remain on the Board of Directors and lead the board as Executive Chairman.

Additionally, the company announced the formation of CRB Operations, a group uniting the company’s Regional Operations and Technical Operations teams into a single structure and led by new Chief Operating Officer Sam Kitchell.

Schroeder joined CRB in 1987 as an architectural engineer, progressing in the company’s operations before becoming the leader of CRB’s Midwest region in 2010. He was named president in 2017 and has led the company through unprecedented growth including its first $1 billion-plus revenue years in 2021 and 2022.

Like this story? Subscribe to Cleanroom Technology magazine for incisive analysis of the latest news and developments in hi-tech industries manufacturing in controlled environments.

Under his tenure, CRB has become a pace-setting and preeminent provider of manufacturing facilities that deliver life-saving medicinal therapies and vaccines as well as many of the brand-name food, beverage and pet food products consumers enjoy. The company’s project portfolio includes numerous award-winning, large-scale biopharmaceutical and food and beverage projects, including many of the research and commercial production facilities that developed and deployed COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.

While growing the company’s bottom line, Schroeder has overseen CRB’s impressive physical expansion. With an employee count nearing 1,800—a roughly three-fold increase under Schroeder’s leadership—CRB now has 21 offices in North America and Europe, with additional openings planned in the coming years.

“There is no one better positioned to further raise CRB’s leadership position in the marketplace while simultaneously nurturing and advancing our coveted culture. From day one we’ve put remarkable client and employee experiences at the centre of everything we do, and no one understands that balance more than Ryan,” said Jeff Biskup, one of the company’s original three founders who mentored Schroeder during his rise through the company ranks. “This promotion is well-earned by Ryan, and it’s terrific news for our clients and employees as our company gets stronger and continues to expand our leadership in the industries we serve.”

Said Schroeder: “Following in Jeff’s footsteps as CEO carries extra meaning for me. He’s been an incredible mentor from the day I arrived at CRB, and his devotion to successful client outcomes is unmatched. I will continue to lean on his leadership, experience and instincts as we guide CRB well into the future.”

New CRB operations organisation

Combining CRB’s regional and technical teams into a single reporting structure under Kitchell, who previously led the company’s Emerging Business Operations group, advances the company’s integration efforts and how CRB serves clients. His expertise and experience as both a CRB leader and former client uniquely position Kitchell to deliver on the company’s promise to clients: successful, innovative project delivery that consistently meets their business objectives, Schroeder said.

“Creating an integrated CRB Operations group continues our journey toward becoming a truly united, global organization driven by technical excellence, continuous learning and innovation, with an exciting work environment that keeps employee experience at the heart of everything we do,” Schroeder said.

Before his promotion, Kitchell led CRB’s Emerging Business Operations team, which worked closely with the company’s growth incubator, the Growth Catalyst Program, to identify new initiatives and bring them to market. Chief Strategy Officer Bart Schubert, who created and managed the GCP from its inception in 2019, will assume Kitchell’s previous responsibilities.

I was thrilled by the opportunity to design an EBO group that would develop our most promising business initiatives and prepare them for the marketplace,”

- Sam Kitchell, Chief Operating Officer

Kitchell has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Before CRB, he served as Group Vice President of Engineering for Shire (now Takeda), where he led the company’s global engineering team of more than 1,600 employees, overseeing engineering and validation operations at multiple manufacturing sites across seven countries and leading the corporate capital program. Before that, Kitchell held engineering Senior Director and Vice President roles at global biotech companies Baxalta and Baxter Healthcare.

Sign up for your free email newsletter

“When I arrived at CRB in 2021, I was thrilled by the opportunity to design an EBO group that would develop our most promising business initiatives and prepare them for the marketplace,” Kitchell said. “Over more than two decades, as a client and now an employee, I’ve seen CRB’s entrepreneurial spirit and technical excellence unleashed on some of the world’s most urgent challenges. I’m humbled and honoured to take this next step and continue working alongside Ryan and our talented corps of professionals in their critical work.”