Nest just announced that Tony Fadell, its CEO and co-founder, is leaving the company.
Nest was unstealthed back in June 2011 by GTM's then-editor Michael Kanellos. Soon after that, GTM obtained and published screenshots of Nest's not-yet-online website that revealed its CEO was ex-Apple designer Tony Fadell. (Nest's lawyers were less than thrilled about that.)
The smart thermostat maker achieved some early success and was purchased by Google for $3.2 billion in early 2014. According to a number of reports, Fadell's management style caused some friction at Google and with the management of Dropcam, a home video camera firm acquired by Nest for $555 million in 2014.
According to The New York Times, Fadell said, “I’m a guy who’s at the beginning of things. I don’t like to do maintenance mode. It’s not what gets me out of bed.”
The Information, which broke the news, suggests, "Tony Fadell’s abrupt departure as CEO of Nest offers Alphabet an opportunity to reboot the troubled connected-home unit, hopefully salvaging something from the $3.2 billion purchase two years ago. One question is whether Alphabet will take that opportunity or instead cut its losses and sell."
Homes consume approximately 20 percent of all the energy in the U.S., and a good portion of that power is consumed inefficiently. But home energy management is a tricky market. Microsoft killed off its home energy management product, Hohm, because of less-than-overwhelming response. Google killed its version of same, the Powermeter. Tendril, a startup going after this market, had its own near-death experience.
A release from the 1,100-employee Nest said that Fadell "is transitioning to an advisor role to Alphabet and Larry Page, and that Marwan Fawaz is joining Nest as CEO," adding that Nest had "revenue growth of more than 50 percent year over year since we first started shipping products."
Fawaz was previously executive VP of Motorola Mobility and CEO of Motorola Home.
WegoWise, an energy benchmarking firm, named Laila Partridge as its new CEO. Partridge was most recently managing director and co-founder of Code On Technologies. Outgoing CEO Andrew Chen will continue to serve on the board. WegoWise provides online monitoring and analytics for improving water and energy efficiency of multifamily homes.
Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL), a subsidiary of The AES Corporation, promoted senior VP of strategic planning Rafael Sanchez to president and CEO. IPL serves 480,000 residential and commercial customers. Prior to IPL, Sanchez was a partner at Bingham Greenebaum Doll.
Blu Homes, a provider of premium prefab homes, promoted Kaitlin Burek Haggerty from COO to CEO. Prior to joining Blu Homes, Haggerty was at Forest Systems, and before that, she worked at Bain & Company.
Bates Marshall joined Huawei as VP of sales. Most recently, Marshall was senior VP global sales and marketing for Advanced Energy Industries. Prior to that, Marshall served as VP of medium power solutions at SMA America.
Lisa Lambert, most recently the VP and managing director of Intel Capital’s Software and Services Fund and the Intel Capital Diversity Fund, has joined The Westly Group. Lambert has invested in VMware, MySQL, Endeca, DATAllegro, JBoss, Joulex, X+1, TOA Technologies, and Nexmo. LPs in The Westly Group include Citibank, E.ON, the SK Group, and RWE. Westly is the former chief fiscal officer and controller of the State of California.
Fluidic Energy named Jim Enzor as CFO. Fluidic is a commercial-scale zinc-air battery firm. Although the firm has raised more than $150 million in funding from strategic, venture and government sources, it has managed to keep a relatively low profile. Enzor most recently held the position of CFO at MD Helicopters and before that, multiple roles at Delphi Automotive.
Theodore "Ted" Craver, who has led West Coast utility Edison International for the past eight years, will retire as CEO and chairman in September. Craver said in a statement, “This year we are delivering an 8 percent reduction in customer average rates, and Edison International’s market value is higher this month than at any time in our 130-year history.” Pedro J. Pizarro, currently president of Southern California Edison, will succeed Craver as CEO. Edison is the parent company of SCE.
Ahmad Chatila, still CEO of bankrupt renewable energy developer SunEdison, has resigned from the boards of the firm's YieldCo spinoffs TerraForm Power and TerraForm Global, according to regulatory filings. He was replaced by David Ringhofer, head of legal and corporate at SunEdison. TerraForm Power and TerraForm Global are not part of SunEdison's bankruptcy filing.
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 VP of utility sales:
The client designs innovative programs for electric utilities that let consumers turn smart thermostats, water heaters and other products into virtual power plants. They are the leader in managing connected devices for the energy industry.
This client is seeking a VP of Utility Sales who is a player/coach to build on their track record and extend their lead in next-generation IoT markets. Looking for 10+ years selling enterprise software into big companies or selling any technology into the energy industry.
The Solar Energy Industries Association appointed Tom Kimbis, general counsel and current VP of executive affairs, as interim president. Kimbis succeeds former CEO and president Rhone Resch on an interim basis, who stepped down from the position last month.
From last week's column:
Arno Harris joined the board of directors of Azure Power, an Indian solar power firm. Harris was the founder and CEO of Recurrent Energy, a utility-scale solar project developer acquired by Sharp and then by Canadian Solar.
Azure has raised hundreds of millions in equity and debt from Foundation Capital, Helion Ventures, IFC (the World Bank's investment firm), and German development bank DEG. Diane Farrell, president of the U.S.-India Business Council, is board director. Foundation's Bill Elmore is on the board, as is Robert Kelly, former CFO at SolarCity.
According to CEO Inderpreet Wadhwa, as reported by IBN, the company is "not in the business of selling solar power plants; we only sell power.”
As of earlier this year, Azure operated 17 utility-scale projects and several commercial rooftop projects with a total rated capacity of 242 megawatts across 13 Indian states. Almost all of the PPAs are 25-year contracts. Eleven projects with a total capacity of 244 megawatts are in construction. Last year, Azure commissioned its largest solar power plant and the largest under India's National Solar Mission, a 100-megawatt PV installation at Jodhpur in Rajasthan.
The company had 2015 fiscal year revenue of $17.6 million with a net loss of $17.1 million. 2014 fiscal year revenue was $13 million with a loss of $11.4 million.