KR Sridhar, Ph.D Principal Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Prior to founding Bloom Energy, Dr. KR Sridhar was Director of the Space Technologies Laboratory (STL) at the University of Arizona where he was also a professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. Under his leadership, STL won several nationally competitive contracts to conduct research and development for Mars exploration and flight experiments to Mars. KR has served as an advisor to NASA and has led major consortia of industry, academia, and national labs. His work for the NASA Mars program to convert Martian atmospheric gases to oxygen for propulsion and life support was recognized by Fortune Magazine, where he was cited as "one of the top five futurists inventing tomorrow, today." As one of the early pioneers in green tech, KR also serves as a strategic limited partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and as a special advisor to New Enterprise Associates. He has also served on many technical committees, panels and advisory boards and has several publications and patents. KR received his bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering with Honors from the University of Madras (now called NIT, Trichy), India, as well as his master's degree in Nuclear Engineering and Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Bill Kurtz Chief Financial Officer and Chief Commercial Officer
Bill has just over 30 years' experience serving as either Chief Financial Officer for Fortune 500 companies and/or COO & CFO for fast growth Mid-Cap companies in both the East Coast and Silicon Valley. Bill joined Bloom in March 2008 as its Chief Financial Officer and Chief Commercial Officer and is responsible for leading Bloom's commercial contracts, finance, accounting, legal, facilities, and admin functions. Kurtz started his career on the East Coast as a Certified Public Accountant with PriceWaterhouse (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers,LLC) and then joined AT&T where he rose up the ranks during his 15 year career. He became a Corporate Officer at age 39 and held several high profile positions. Two of significance were AT&T Cost Czar, where he was responsible for AT&T's world-wide cost reduction program, and VP and Financial Officer of AT&T's $25B Business Markets Division. Bill also led the financial negotiations for the $15B acquisition of McCaw Cellular. Kurtz left AT&T and moved to the Silicon Valley in 1998 and operated as either COO & CFO or CFO of several fast growth start-ups, including Scient Corporation and 3PARdata that successfully made the transition from private to successful public, profitable companies. Prior to joining Bloom, Kurtz operated as CFO at Novellus Systems, Inc., a $2B global semiconductor equipment company, where he led the company's focus on improving its profitability and cash flow. Bill currently also serves on the Board of Director for PMC-Sierra Inc and is Chair of their Audit Committees. He holds a bachelor's degree in Commerce (major in Accounting) from Rider University and a Master's degree in Management Sciences from Stanford University.
Susan Brennan Chief Operations Officer
Susan brings more than 24 years of manufacturing experience, including automotive vehicle, powertrain and components assembly. Susan has dedicated her career to improving American manufacturing and assuring that the United States maintains a vital manufacturing footprint, especially in areas of key technological advances. In her time as a manufacturing practitioner, she has always been a strong proponent of sustainability, starting in her first role as the Environmental and Coating Manager with Douglas and Lomason, leading the plant to the State of Iowa's first ever Waste Minimization award and, most recently, launching the all-electric Nissan Leaf in Smyrna, TN. Throughout her career, she has maintained that jobs and the environment can have a symbiotic relationship, and that passion drives her as she pursues her role at Bloom. In addition, she has created and supported organizations that encourage young women to pursue careers in math and science as a way to support future generations of technological manufacturing in the United States. Susan holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Nebraska, Omaha and a Bachelor's of Science in Microbiology from the University of Illinois, C-U.
Venkat Venkataraman, Ph.D Executive Vice President of Engineering & CTO
Venkat Venkataraman brings to Bloom Energy more than 28 years of experience in process design and optimization. He leads the development of highly efficient and low cost Bloom Energy Servers. During his tenure at Bloom, he led the company through many technological breakthroughs bringing SOFC technology from early stages of development to a very matured state enabling deployment of highly efficient commercial systems. Over the years, Venkat has assembled, led and mentored a very strong team of engineers and innovators around the world in the areas of stack technology, system integration and power electronics, who have made tremendous strides in that time, solving the key technical challenges that had previously prevented the commercialization of SOFC technologies. He has authored/co-authored several patents in the areas of SOFC technology, fuel processing, heat integration and control systems. Prior to joining Bloom Energy, Venkat was a Principal Technologist at Aspen Technology, Inc. where he led the commercial development of high end design, simulation and optimization software for the chemical and petrochemical industries. Venkat is a winner of AIChE award in the area of chemical process optimization, and holds a Ph.D in chemical engineering from Clarkson University.
Matt Ross Chief Marketing Officer
Matt has 28 years of integrated marketing experience working with a wide range of companies spanning from startups to the largest Fortune 50 global corporations. He has worked in senior roles for some of the largest marketing services providers in the world, including Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide in New York and Los Angeles and McCann Worldgroup in San Francisco. At Ogilvy & Mather, he was Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer in charge of that agency's largest global relationship, IBM. During his tenure, IBM's brand reputation rebounded from crisis in 1994 to one of the top 3 most valuable brands in the world by 2005. At McCann Worldgroup, Matt was a member of the global operating board and held posts including President, McCann Worldgroup San Francisco, Chief Executive Officer, global Microsoft brands, and Chief Executive of Worldgroup EXP, one of the eight operating units of this diversified marketing services company. Over the last 20 years Matt has been responsible for numerous global marketing programs spanning up to 37 countries and involving the full range of marketing disciplines.
Bill Thayer Executive Vice President Sales
Bill Thayer joined Bloom Energy as the Vice President of Sales in September of 2005. Before joining Bloom Energy, Bill spent 13 years at American Power Conversion (APC) in a number of senior leadership, management and sales roles. Bill began his career at APC by creating the federal government sales organization and establishing APC as the market leader in that segment. He then moved to Asia-Pacific, first as the Sales Director and was later promoted to the Vice President and General Manager of that region. After helping build the Asia-Pacific operation from a small team of ten people to the dominant power protection vendor in the region, he moved back to APC headquarters and took over as the Vice President of North America, where he was responsible for more than $1B in revenue. Bill graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor's degree in General Engineering and spent ten years as a Surface Warfare Officer, serving aboard destroyers and cruisers in the Pacific Fleet before being assigned to the Naval War College. He also holds a master's degree from the University of Rhode Island.
Jim Cook Senior Vice President Strategic Materials
Jim Cook comes to Bloom Energy as a highly regarded executive within the mining and metals industries. With more than 30 years of experience, Jim has a broad and detailed knowledge of materials extraction and refining processes. Jim will further develop Bloom Energy's existing supplies of strategic raw materials and develop new ones in support of Bloom Energy's growth plans. Prior to joining Bloom Energy, Jim spent 25 years with Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium (RTIT) in senior technical, operational and commercial roles and was the President and CEO for the last 6 years of his career. RTIT is a global business with annual sales in excess of $1.5 billion with operations in Canada, South Africa, China and Madagascar. Jim holds B.Sc and PhD degrees in Metallurgy from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow in the UK.
Peter Gross Vice President of Mission Critical Systems
Peter brings more than 25 years' experience in engineering and design of power systems as applied to data centers, trading floors, command and control centers, and telecommunication and broadcasting facilities. Before joining Bloom Energy, Peter Gross was Vice President and Managing Partner of HP Global Technology Consulting at Hewlett Packard. Prior to HP, Peter was founder and CEO at EYP Mission Critical Facilities, Inc., a consulting company specializing in strategic technology planning, design and operations support for large-scale data centers. EYP was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2007. Peter was the co-founder of the Critical Power Coalition (CPC), a non-profit consortium of electric power companies committed to addressing operational, technological and political issues relating to on-site quality, reliability and continuity of electric power where and when it is vital. He also served as Chief Engineer at Teledyne Technologies Inc., a leading provider of sophisticated power electronic systems and related products to a wide variety of industries, and was a partner at PRK Associates. Peter is the recipient of 2010 Data Center Dynamics "Outstanding Contribution to the Industry" award.
David Barber Vice President Human Resources
David Barber has more than 20 years of Human Resources experience specializing in start-up or early stage companies during periods of high growth and dynamic cultural development. Prior to Bloom, he was the Vice President of Human Resources at Good Technology, where he was instrumental in enabling the company's explosive growth and held a leadership role in the acquisition by Motorola, Inc. Prior to Good Technology, Mr. Barber held the role of Vice President of Organization Development at Flywheel Communications, where he was responsible for strategic development of the leadership team and execution of all facets of the HR function. Earlier, he held the title of Sr. Vice President of Human Resources at Medscape and guided the organization from private to public company, through two large acquisitions and ultimately facilitated the transition in the course of being acquired. Before this, Mr. Barber held HR operating positions at Netscape Communication and Apple computer. He earned a bachelor's degree in Finance from San Jose State University.
Gary Convis, Senior Advisor
Gary brings more than 44 years of manufacturing experience. He has dedicated his life to the advancement of manufacturing in America, and is an accomplished practitioner of Lean manufacturing and operational excellence. Gary served as Vice Chairman of Dana Holding Corporation and prior to this was the company's Chief Executive Officer. Prior to his roles at Dana Corp., Gary was the first American manufacturing executive appointed by Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) to be a managing officer, as well as executive vice president of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. Before this appointment, Gary spent 16 years building and operating New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. in Fremont California, and more than 20 years in various manufacturing and operational roles with General Motors Corporation and Ford Motor Company. He earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics with a minor in physics from Michigan State University.