Sterilex LLC, a Paine Schwartz Partners portfolio company and a leading developer of innovative food safety antimicrobial products, has announced Colleen Akehurst as its new CEO effective June 10.

Akehurst, previously a Managing Director at Paine Schwartz Partners on the Portfolio Excellence Platform team, brings a broad depth of experience and understands the intricacies of PE-backed, small, family-owned businesses.

She has served as CEO in start-up and family-owned consumer product companies, and also in a variety of marketing and global strategy leadership roles at Heinz and Mondelez. She began her career with Procter & Gamble in engineering roles, followed by consulting roles at McKinsey.

“At Sterilex, we have great products and innovation, but people drive our business,” says Akehurst. “Our team and their expertise are what truly set Sterilex apart. I knew early on in my tenure as interim CEO that it would be an honor to work with this great group of people and continue leading our organization through new product launches and global expansion.”

Rick Greubel, Chairman of the Sterilex Board said, “After an extensive and thorough search, we are pleased to appoint Colleen as Sterilex’s permanent CEO after serving as interim CEO since the beginning of this year. Under her leadership, the company has maintained its strong growth trajectory and I look forward to seeing its continued success.”

Sterilex has experienced record year-over-year growth and has numerous exciting opportunities as it expands into international markets and launches innovative new products. Sterilex remains committed to providing solutions that sustainably address the industry’s greatest microbial challenges.

About Sterilex

Sterilex is a leading developer of innovative solutions that improve food safety and enhance public health. Sterilex addresses sanitation and microbial challenges through its line of proprietary, award-winning biofilm-control biocides, broad-spectrum disinfectants and rapid biofilm diagnostic tools in the food processing, animal health and water treatment industries. For further information, please see

About Paine Schwartz Partners

Paine Schwartz Partners is the largest private equity firm dedicated to sustainable food chain investing, with ~$6 billion of AUM and over 20 years of experience. The firm invests across specific segments of the food and agribusiness value chain, with a focus on two core investment themes: productivity and sustainability and health and wellness. Through its proactive, thesis-driven approach, the firm targets value-added and differentiated companies and makes primarily control buyout investments, with a smaller allocation to growth companies.

For further information, please see