This year starts with some big news from some big players in the industry.
Tesla announced on its fourth-quarter earnings call Wednesday that CFO Deepak Ahuja will be retiring, and Zach Kirkhorn, previously the company’s VP of finance, will be taking over.
In other Tesla news, CEO Elon Musk recently announced that approximately 7 percent of the company's full-time staff would be cut, along with temps and contractors not deemed critical. The reduction comes six months after Tesla laid off about 9 percent of its workforce.
Arch Rao founded Span.IO last year with other Tesla Energy alums. Given the recent announcement of more Tesla layoffs, Span.IO announced that it is hiring for a range of positions. Span says it’s building hardware and software to enable plug-and-play renewable installation for homes.
There are also significant layoffs happening at Cypress Creek Renewables, Greentech Media reports. The solar developer will shed about 20 percent of its workforce, or about 100 people, according to sources familiar with the matter. The company said the reductions come amid an effort to refocus on its most competitive markets.
As Pacific Gas & Electric enters bankruptcy, a slew of senior leadership, including the utility’s CEO, have exited. Geisha Williams was one of just a handful of women to hold the top spot of a power company and the first Latina CEO of a Fortune 500 company in America. Bloomberg also reported the departures of Patrick Hogan, SVP of electric operations; Kevin Dasso, VP of electric asset management; and Gregg Lemler, VP of electric transmission. With formal bankruptcy proceedings getting underway, this is likely just the tip of the iceberg.
In less fraught utility news, PPL has brought on Lori Mueller as VP of customer services. She joins PPL from Affinegy in Austin, where she was VP of operations and customer experience.
BP-backed solar developer Lightsource has brought on Kevin Smith as CEO for the Americas. He was most recently CEO of SolarReserve and was with Invenergy before that.
Blockchain energy platform Energy Web Foundation has hired Walter Kok as its first COO. He was previously a director with ING.
Commercial solar developer Standard Solar has brought on Dan Dobbs as EVP of structured finance. Dobbs was most recently with Standard Solar, and previously with Anbaric Development Partners, Solar Grid Storage, Greensmith and SunEdison.
Andrew Tang, who has been at Greensmith for nearly five years, has been promoted to VP of energy storage and solar integration for Wärtsilä, which now owns Greensmith.
Tanuj Deora starts the year in a new role as VP of market development at Simple Energy. He was previously EVP of the Smart Electric Power Alliance and was with IHS before that.
Carmine Tilghman also moved this month to join solar tracking firm Array Technologies as SVP of commercial operations. He was most recently at Twin Cat Energy Services, and with Tucson Electric Power for more than 20 years before that.
Enphase announced this month that Wilf Johnston has been appointed general manager for the Asia-Pacific region.
Sol Systems has a few new additions to start 2019. The firm has brought on Elizabeth Weir as COO and Jeff Miller as a senior director for onsite solar for corporate and municipal customers. Weir was previously at Apex Clean Energy; Miller is a SolarCity alum.
Quantal, an executive search firm focused on building specialized teams in connected industry, is the sponsor of the GTM jobs column.
Among its many active searches, Quantal has been engaged to find a product marketing manager.
The client is seeking a talented individual to join the team as a Product Marketing Manager. In this role, you will be responsible for the product positioning and messaging for our industry-leading distributed energy resource management platform for utilities. From determining positioning and naming, to conducting competitive analysis and externally communicating product benefits, you will help shape the voice of the product and help grow our customer base. You’ll work with a cross-functional team across sales, corporate marketing, product development, and engineering to match the features of EnergyHub’s products with client needs in order to drive sales.
Just a few months after joining the Solar Energy Industries Association in New York, Shyam Mehta has been promoted to executive director.
John Conley, another SolarCity/Tesla departure, has a new role as CCO at commercial solar developer Dynamic Energy.
The California Department of Insurance has named Michael Peterson as the country’s first deputy commissioner of climate and sustainability to engage the insurance industry in the fight against climate change.
After six years at SunPower, Rex Liu has joined Motiv Power Systems as director of product management. Motiv offers electric chassis for trucks and buses.
Tess Williams and Dan Sowder have left Doosan GridTech to co-found Sound Grid Partners. Sound Grid aims to “accelerate the decarbonization of the electric grid by providing engineering, analytics and procurement capabilities that enable utilities to make distributed energy resources a normal part of a safe, reliable, low-cost electric grid.”
Starting in February, Allison Ingram will be the SVP for finance and operations for Advanced Energy Economy. She was previously with the Society of American Military Engineers.
K. Kaufman has left the Smart Energy Power Alliance to join energy storage firm Fluence Energy as director of communications. Fluence kicked off last year as a joint venture of AES and Siemens.
Erin Greeson left after a brief stint at Virgin Galactic to join SimpliPhi Power as director of public relations.