Another week brings more moves and shifts at the upper levels of the renewable energy industry.
Tesla has hired Gaby Toledano, previously an executive at video game giant Electronic Arts, to replace Arnnon Geshuri, VP of human resources. Toledano joins Tesla as "chief people officer," leading HR and facilities and reporting to Elon Musk. Prior to EA, Toledano led HR at Siebel Systems. According to Tesla's blog, Geshuri "helped transition Tesla from a small car company that many doubted would ever succeed, to an integrated sustainable energy company with more than 30,000 employees around the globe."
One of the challenges facing the newly hired Toledano will be the issue of labor unions.
Automotive News reports: "Workers at Tesla Inc.’s Fremont, Calif. assembly plant have filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board accusing the company of illegally surveilling and coercing workers seeking unionization." Tesla CEO Elon Musk has claimed "unionization would be antithetical to Tesla’s mission."
VC-funded electric-bus builder Proterra added former Rocket Fuel SVP and general counsel JoAnn Covington as chief legal officer, according to her LinkedIn profile. Proterra recently closed an "oversubscribed" $140 million funding round and claims to have had "exceptional sales growth" in the first half of this year.
Ford Motors will replace CEO Mark Fields with Jim Hackett, the head of its Ford Smart Mobility subsidiary responsible for developing autonomous cars, according to the New York Times. Fields has been blamed for the firm's decline in share price since he became CEO. TechCrunch reports: "Despite its investments in self-driving cars, which also includes $1 billion poured into a joint venture with Argo AI, Ford has struggled to balance the cost of creating new technology with declining auto sales."
As GTM's Jeff St. John reported, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will soon have a quorum. President Donald Trump has nominated Neil Chatterjee, an adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Rob Powelson, a Pennsylvania utility commissioner, to fill two of three vacant seats at FERC.
Pending Senate approval, the two men will restore the agency's power to rule on matters ranging from natural gas and transmission policy to how large-scale wind and solar are valued in interstate grid markets. Powelson has criticized states like Maryland that have proposed bans on fracking, and has called the Clean Power Plan a “disconnect" between federal and state authority.
Also elected were chair-elect Steve Lockard, CEO of TPI Composites; Treasurer Ray Wood, head of global power and renewables, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; and Secretary Doug Fredrickson, VP at Blattner Energy. Newly elected to the board are Carole Barbeau, president, Energy Advisory for the Americas, DNV GL; Buzz Miller, CEO, Southern Power; and Susan Nickey, managing director, Hannon Armstrong. Added as one-year special advisers are Brian Janous, director of energy strategy, Microsoft, and Rob Threlkeld, global manager of renewable energy, General Motors.
Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA, notes that “wind is on track to supply 10 percent of U.S. electricity by the end of the decade.”
Sibu Janardhanan, previously with Gexpro Energy Solutions, has joined EV-charging station developer EV-Box as SVP North America. EV-Box is looking to expand geographically after being bought by energy provider Engie in March of this year. Native to the Netherlands, the firm has provided 26 countries and 980 cities with more than 48,000 charging stations.
Jeffrey Wiener, former director of sales for energy storage at General Electric, has joined Eos Energy Storage as SVP of global sales. Chris Gerlach, former VP of finance at SolarReserve, has joined Eos as CFO. The startup’s core product is a 1-megawatt/4-megawatt-hour battery system employing Eos’ aqueous zinc-based 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 VP of Sales -- Energy Efficiency
This client empowers energy value chain participants by providing them the power of foresight, leveraging advanced machine learning capabilities to deliver accurate, granular predictions, which are crucial for tackling the rising challenges of today's energy industry.
The client is seeking a VP of Sales who will directly report to the CEO and become a member of the company's executive team. You should be a sales leader who has at least four or more years of experience in hiring and managing a world-class sales team that is aggressive, disciplined and results-oriented.
Apollo Fusion claims to be developing "hybrid reactor technology with fusion power." The startup was launched by Ben Longmier, the founder of Aether, a high-altitude research gear builder (acquired by Apple), and Mike Cassidy, previously VP at Alphabet's X research lab.
From the previous jobs column:
Francesco Venturini, the CEO of Enel Green Power, is now heading the new Global E-Solution division of the Enel Group. After three years of running EGP, Venturini has been requested by Enel Group CEO Francesco Starace to head this new unit with a focus on e-mobility, V2G, recharging infrastructure, energy efficiencies and batteries.
Trump’s expected pick for top USDA scientist, Sam Clovis, has never taken a graduate course in science, as reported by Talking Points Memo.