Transphorm named Fumihide “Humi” Esaka as its new CEO. He'll be helming the GaN-based power conversion startup starting in July. Esaka is currently CEO of Nihon Inter Electronics Corporation (NIEC), and is also the former VP-Japan of International Rectifier. Transphorm co-founder and CEO Umesh Mishra stays on as Chairman and CTO. The firm's technology has applications in power supplies and adapters, motor drives, PV panels, and EVs.
Tesla (TSLA) hired Aston Martin's Chief Engineer of Vehicle Engineering, Chris Porritt, to be its VP of Vehicle Engineering. Chris was Chief Engineer for Aston Martin's One-77 supercar.
Garrett E. Mikita replaced David Bennett as CEO of Proterra, a maker of of zero-emission buses. Mikita was most recently president of the $5.3 billion Defense & Space business unit of Honeywell Aerospace.
Sempra Energy (SRE) elected James C. Yardley to the firm’s board of directors. Yardley retired last year after 34 years with El Paso Corp., then the largest natural gas pipeline company and oil and gas producer in the country, according to a release.
Lux Capital named Bilal Zuberi as Partner in its Palo Alto, California office. Bilal was previously a Principal at General Catalyst Partners where his investments included Gridco Systems, Arc Energy, SunBorne, and CLEAResult. Lux recently closed on a new fund, Lux Ventures 3, with commitments of $245 million.
Catching up: Sanjay Wagle is now COO and President at AliphaJet, a firm looking to convert oils and fats into replacement hydrocarbons. Wagle was most recently an advisor at Solazyme, and prior to that, an Associate Director for Commercialization at ARPA-E.