Gates, Bezos, Khosla, Bloomberg, Branson, Doerr, Plattner and the other billionaire investors in the $1 billion Breakthrough Energy Coalition have hired folks with actual energy backgrounds.

David Danielson is now managing director for science and Eric Toone is executive managing director and science lead -- the first employees on the Breakthrough Energy Ventures science team. Danielson was most recently a Precourt Energy Scholar at Stanford. Before that, he served as the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. He was the first program director hired by the DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which focuses on high-risk clean energy technologies. Toone was most recently the leader of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative at Duke University. In 2009, he was a founding member of ARPA-E, where he led the electrofuels program.

On the relatively rare topic of investors focused on energy and sustainability:

  • Dick Kramlich, co-founder of New Enterprise Associates, founded Green Bay Ventures, a $130 million early-stage fund, with partner Anthony Schiller. The fund looks at artificial intelligence applications in energy, transportation, manufacturing and logistics, according to a TechCrunch source.
  • Abe Yokell, a partner at RockPort Capital, along with Joshua Posamentier are listed as co-founders and managing partners at Congruent Ventures -- "Investing in Early Stage Sustainable Technology" according to the website.  The firm has filed for two funds, a $50 million seed and Series A fund, and a $40 million follow-on fund.  According to the firm, they are fully subscribed on their follow-on fund and will hold a second close for the early stage fund fund in Q2. They expect to make their first investments in the coming months.

Sam Youneszadeh, regional GM with SunEdison, is now chief development officer at ForeFront Power. As we've reported, SunEdison's commercial and industrial solar development team has been reincarnated as ForeFront Power. Earlier this month, the Japanese industrial and energy giant Mitsui & Co. acquired the remainder of SunEdison's commercial business for $15 million. The acquisition included 50 employees -- down from 300 at SunEdison's peak -- focused on building and financing projects.

Kevin Christy, previously with SunEdison and Axio Power, is now COO for North America at project developer Lightsource Renewable Energy.

GlassPoint Solar, a supplier of solar for the oil and gas industry, announced that Tunde Deru, previously with LINN Energy, joined the firm as director of sales for the Americas, and Jeffrey Kennedy, most recently with SunPower, joined as senior director of project finance. Co-founder and CEO of GlassPoint Rod MacGregor has left the CEO role but remains on the board.       

David Miles, formerly with Ideematec Deutschland GmbH, is now senior director of project development at Hannah Solar, a solar developer and EPC in the Southeast U.S.   

John Megna, previously with SMA Solar Technology, is now sales director of grid-scale energy storage at LG Chem Power.  

According to Greenbiz, ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods "has signaled his backing for the Paris Agreement and called for a carbon tax to reduce U.S. emissions." Woods replaced Rex Tillerson, who is now the U.S. Secretary of State. Woods also cited the necessity of "managing the risks of climate change."

Northern Power Systems added Kevin Kopczynski to the board of directors. When First Solar acquired Enki Technology for its anti-reflection coatings late last year, Enki's CEO, Kopczynski, joined First Solar as a senior director. Previously, Kopczynski was a partner at RockPort Capital Partners. Northern Power Systems manufactures wind turbines with permanent magnet direct drive technology.


Enertech Search Partners, an executive search firm with a dedicated cleantech practice, is the sponsor of the GTM jobs column.

Among its many active searches, Enertech is looking for a Regional Account Executive.

The client brings electric vehicle (EV) charging to more people and places than ever before. They operate the world's largest and most open EV charging network and also design, build and support the technology that powers it.

The client is seeking a Regional Account Executive in Colorado with value-based/solution sales experience and a natural knack for hunting and closing large enterprise transactions. SaaS experience is highly desired, as well as exceptional pipeline management.


Survalent, a provider of advanced distribution management systems (ADMS) to utilities worldwide, announced three new executives: Serge Savchenko, most recently with OpenText, joins as chief revenue officer; Ian MacCuaig, with past leadership roles at GE Digital Energy, SNC-Lavalin, and CAE Electronics, joins as VP of customer success; and Marianne Kupina, previously head of marketing at Esri Canada, joins as VP of marketing.

IOTAS, looking to supply a smart home system for the apartment rental market, named Tim Enwall, previously head of strategy at Nest and former CEO of Revolv to its board. Revolv, acquired by Nest, had developed a smart hub aimed at homeowners.

Soumya Sastry was promoted to principal, short-term electric supply/energy policy & procurement at PG&E.

From the previous jobs column:

Electric-bus builder Proterra named Matt Horton as chief commercial officer. Prior to joining Proterra, Horton was the CEO of Propel Fuels. Proterra has sold more than 380 vehicles to 36 different municipal, university, and commercial transit agencies throughout North America. According to the company, by 2030, every single transit bus sold in the U.S. will run on electricity. (Here's the recent Energy Gang podcast interview with Proterra CEO Ryan Popple.) 

Hannah Masterjohn was promoted to VP of policy and regulatory affairs at Clean Energy Collective. In 2014, First Solar made its entry into the U.S. residential solar market by becoming the single largest investor in Clean Energy Collective's community solar business with the purchase of a 28 percent ownership interest for $21.8 million. CEC builds and sells community solar projects to residential and small business customers on behalf of utilities. In 2012, CEC won $13 million in equity financing from the New Energy Capital Cleantech Infrastructure Fund, Black Coral Capital and other investors.