Pinnacle Engines, a firm developing an opposed-piston gas engine, named Jonathan Michael as its first CFO. Mr. Michael had previously served as CFO at Solexel and Solyndra. Other internal combustion engine innovations include the opposed-piston diesels of EcoMotors (funded by Braemar, Khosla Ventures and Bill Gates) and Achates Power -- as well as the split-cycle design of Scuderi. Transonic Combustion (more Khosla funding) is a developer of fuel injection technology for ICEs.


Applied Materials named Gary Dickerson as president and CEO, succeeding Michael Splinter, CEO since 2003 and now Applied's executive chairman of the board of directors. Dickerson was previously CEO of Varian Semiconductor and president and COO of KLA-Tencor.


Jean-Michel Gires joined Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital as a Calgary-based venture partner. He is the former president and CEO of Total E&P Canada. 


Awesense Wireless added Rudi Carolsfeld as VP Sales and Chief Customer Advocate. Carolsfeld held smart grid sales roles with Power Measurement (acquired by Schneider Electric in 2005) and RuggedCom (acquired by Siemens in 2012).  Awesense builds modular and mobile grid sensors that can spot technical losses and power theft.


As reported in Dan Primack's Term Sheet, Winston Fu has left U.S. Venture Partners, "the Silicon Valley firm where he had been a general partner for the past 16 years." Primack notes that Fu was "on the hook for USVP's failed Solyndra investment."


Principal Solar, which describes itself as "a solar energy holding company executing a roll-up strategy to create the world's first distributed solar utility," named Jeff Heller, former vice chairman of EDS, to its board of directors.


Marine energy firm Minesto named Dr. Heije Westberg as its new CTO. Westberg was previously Manager for the Department of Energy Conversion at Volvo Technology AB. Saab spinout Minesto's device harnesses power from tidal or ocean current with an underwater tethered wing tracing a figure-eight pattern.