Recent Posts:

Ausra Update: Layoffs and a Change of Business Plans Confirmed

Michael Kanellos: January 28, 2009, 9:04 PM
On Monday, Ausra execs called up to confirm and clarify and earlier story we wrote about their layoffs. The solar thermal company confirmed it laid off about 10 percent of its staff, a spokeswoman said Monday. The layoffs occurred in January (laid off employees told us they began in December.) At the same time, she said the company is changing business plans. While it still plans to complete the solar thermal project it has with PG&E, it will now become an equipment supplier rather than a power producer. Since then, the company's been trying to schedule a meeting with us to further explain its change in lifestyle. In short, it will sell its mirrors, pipes and steam-capture...

Battery Startup Imara Makes Massive Breakthrough: Proves Naming Consultants Work

Michael Kanellos: January 28, 2009, 2:10 PM
Name consultants generally rank fairly low on the utilitarian/work-is-noble scale. They are more useful than coal scuttlers in the public mind, but way below tree root remover, corn-dog coater and people that paint themselves silver and pretend to be statues. But Imara, the lithium-ion battery manufacturer that used to be known as LiON Cells, has unearthed evidence that they actually work. When the company wanted to rename itself, it held a contest. Employees, the public relations firm and others submitted 320 names, said CEO Jeff Depew. A ringer, a branding consultant, also submitted names. The list was winnowed down to 10. Eight of the 10 were from the naming consultant,...

Applied Materials CEO Talks Solar With Obama

Ucilia Wang: January 28, 2009, 8:03 AM

Applied Materials CEO Mike Splinter advocated for a mix of direct investments and tax incentives when he met with President Obama today.

Splinter was part of a group of CEOs from large companies, including Google, IBM, Jet Blue Airways and Micron Technology, who spoke with Obama. The president, in turn, used the opportunity to lobby for the business community’s support of his proposed $816 billion stimulus package.

While the president chatted with the business execs, the House of Representatives was set to vote on the stimulus package today.

Splinter spoke about the importance of investing in solar and championed ideas that also had been presented by the Solar Energy Industries...