Better Place Announces Latest CEO Change

Electric car battery swapping company, Better Place, has announced its latest swap, this time yet another CEO, marking the second CEO change in the past three months.

In a release, the Israeli company said that Evan Thornley – previously CEO of Better Place Australia, and installed as Global CEO in October 2012 ­– is out. Better Place Chairman of the Board, Idan Ofer, will take the leadership reins. The company’s lead CFO, Alan Gelman, will manage day-to-day business according to the company.

Forbes says that Ofer is the largest shareholder of Better Place, as well as holding the distinction as Israel’s richest person.

Better Place has raised $850 million from General Electric, Morgan Stanley, HSBC and other investors – including a recent $100 million round – but has lost more than $500 million since its founding.

The business model for the company centers on the sale of an electric powertrain Renault Fluence Z.E. to owners who then subscribe to lease the car’s battery from Better Place for a fixed fee of about $350 a month. Customers then have access to battery swap stations – the EV equivalent of a gas station – and charge points.

Pulling into a swap station allows drivers to get back on the road with another 100 or so miles of range in a matter of minutes, thereby avoiding the potentially hours-long process of charging a battery.

“Evan stepped up at a critical junction for Better Place,” said Idan Ofer, Chairman of the Board of Better Place. “We thank Evan for his invaluable service to the company. Under his direction we were able to ensure Better Place retains its position as a global leader in EV infrastructure and services. We wish Evan the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

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