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2nd Better Place CEO out; company to be managed by Chairman of Board and CFO

Better Place CEO Evan Thornley, who took over in October 2012 ago after the departure of founding CEO Shai Agassi (earlier post), is now out, according to the company.

Globes in Israel reported that sources said that Thornley left over differences with Chairman Idan Ofer over Better Place’s future, especially over plans to reduce activity in global markets and focus on its core markets of Israel and Denmark.

Thornley’s first job, the Globes report noted, was to develop a recovery plan for Better Place’s Israeli operations—a condition for further financing. Thornley presented the plan to the board of Israel Corporation, Better Place’s controlling shareholder, in December. The plan reportedly included sharp spending cuts, extensive layoffs, an expansion of activity in other countries, offering battery recharging services to other electric carmakers, and offering a new and cheaper plan to leasing companies.

Idan Ofer, Chairman of the Board of Better Place, will now assume the role of Executive Chairman and manage external relationships and alliances for Better Place, while Alan Gelman, Global CFO for Better Place, will manage day-to-day operations.

In a statement on the change, the company noted that under Thornley, the company was able to raise the capital it needed to sustain continued operations, and underwent a significant restructuring. The Better Place Board now wishes him “the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

Globes quoted Ayalon Group chief strategist Yaniv Pagot as saying, regarding Thornley’s departure: “The investment in Better Place is beginning to look more like an investment in a rollercoaster than an investment in an infrastructure for electric cars. If the company’s new CEO is on his way out, we’re talking about a managerial pile-up.”

Better Place is a developer and proponent of a battery switch model for EVs. The company owns and operates a network of battery switch stations and public/personal charge spots, along with the supply of batteries that power the cars.



Shai Agassi is a winner. The business(~cell-phone-like subscription) model works. Israel is a small country, with $8 gas, as much as Arabs allow Jews.

There always was one odd thing. Ofer, the main Better Place EV money/control, makes his money off oil.

This is kinda like GM making it's money off oil engines, while buying and controlling the Ovonics NiMH EV battery enabling technology.

Wonder how oil resolves such conflicts of interests...


The guy probably got a juicy golden parachute on his way out instead of don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

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