Google's VP of finance, Jason Wheeler, is soon to be Tesla's next CFO, replacing the retiring Deepak Ahuja. Tesla also hired Jon McNeill, the former CEO of Enservio, as VP of sales and service. Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently said the Gigafactory was ahead of schedule and would be in production by March 2016.
As Jason Deign reported for GTM, "Last month, Tesla's head of operations in Germany, Philipp Schröder, left for competitor Sonnenbatterie to help lead that company's global expansion. And this month, Sonnenbatterie picked up seven more leaders of Tesla's team in Germany. The exodus coincides with plans for a major announcement from Sonnenbatterie on November 25. A number of the Tesla defectors are former Sonnenbatterie staff."
Demand-side energy optimization company Encycle (formerly REGEN Energy) named Bob Chiste, chairman of the firm since 2011, as CEO. Chiste was founding CEO of demand management pioneer Comverge. He also served as entrepreneur in residence for VC firms El Dorado Ventures and Enertech Capital.
Diamond Foundry, a maker of cultured jewelry-grade diamonds, unstealthed this morning. And though mightily intriguing, it's not exactly a cleantech product. But wait -- it turns out the CEO of the firm is none other than R. Martin Roscheisen, former CEO of Nanosolar, a CIGS thin-film solar aspirant from an earlier era of VC-funded solar startups. Advising the diamond maker is Zhengrong Shi, founder of Suntech, a Chinese solar module firm that rocketed to become the No. 1 supplier in 2012, only to go bankrupt in the U.S. in 2013. A release reports that Diamond Foundry was "founded with the goal of reinventing the $100 billion diamond industry from 'mine to finger' by setting a new standard for social and environmental good." Investors include Leonardo DiCaprio; Evan Williams, the founder of Twitter; Mark and Alison Pincus, founders of Zynga and One Kings Lane, respectively; and Andreas Bechtolsheim, founder of Sun Microsystems and a founding investor in Google.
Misty Benham Chioffe is now head of marketing and business development at BayWa Solar Systems, a project developer, EPC and distributor. Chioffe was previously with Norwegian Crystals, and before that, REC Americas.
Enertech Search Partners, an executive search firm with a dedicated cleantech practice, is the sponsor of the GTM jobs column.
Microinverter pioneer Enphase laid off 7 percent of its staff last week. Enphase reported revenue of $102.9 million for its third quarter, up 4 percent year-over-year and in line with guidance. But Enphase's guidance for the fourth quarter was significantly below expectations at $62 million to $70 million. Street consensus was $111 million, a big miss.
From last week's jobs column:
Minh Le is now the "Departing Director of the SunShot Initiative" at the Solar Energy Technologies Office of the U.S. Department of Energy. Le notes, "I am moving on to spend time as a senior advisor at the Office of Management and Budget at the White House, focusing primarily on developing and advancing clean water technologies." He adds, "It is with the hubris of having seen first-hand that government can accomplish big things through innovation, technology, and partnerships with academia, industry, national laboratories, and state and local governments that I take a small bite at this big challenge. Instead of 'grid parity,' I will be focused on 'pipe parity.' With innovation, we may be able to reduce the energy [requirements], carbon-intensity, and cost of fresh water production and purification."