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Sinking Ship

Evan Thornley. Bidding farewell to Better Place
Evan Thornley. Bidding farewell to Better Place 
 
 

Better Place CEO quits after 3 months

Shortly after promising to embark on new road with electric car venture, Evan Thornley joins long list of executives who have found their way out of company

Shahar Haselkorn
Published: 01.16.13, 13:34 / Israel Business

Better Place's Global CEO Evan Thornley is quitting the electric car venture less than four months after replacing company founder Shai Agassi.

 

Only last month, Thornley and the company's management presented a recovery plan aimed at significantly minimizing its losses.

 

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Better Place has accumulated losses worth some NIS 2.2 billion (about $590 million) since its establishment in 2007. Company officials explained, however, that the money invested in the company was being used to deploy the charging infrastructure and replace the electric cars' batteries and was therefore not considered a loss.


בטר פלייס - מה נשאר מהחזון המקורי? (צילום: רונן טופלברג)

Better Place. Anything left from original vision? (Photo: Ronen Topelberg)

 

A Better Place official told Ynet on Wednesday that Thornley had recently expressed his desire to resign and was parting with the company in good spirits.

 

"Evan Thornley felt that he had reached the end of his road in the company and asked to retire," the company's spokesperson said in a statement.

 

A company official added that the new CEO would be named in the coming days and assume the position immediately.

 

"It's safe to assume that in the near future we will mainly focus on the Israeli and Danish auto market, where the charging and battery switching infrastructure is already in place," the source said.

 

Better Place is therefore set to further cut its expenses related to future investments and try to become profitable with the tools at its possession at the moment.

 

Company sources estimated in a conversation with Ynet that Thornley would be the last executive to quit. "We are not expecting any waves of layoffs or resignations in the near future. There will be no more fluctuations. That's it, the business will stabilize from now on," one of the sources stated.

 

Thornley's departure is expected to increase the uncertainty as to Better Place's future. Since October, the company has been left by founder Shai Agassi, Israel CEO Moshe Kaplinsky and a long series of executives – including VPs and Agassi's relatives.

 

The company's commercial activity has been negatively affected by the changes in management, with only five cars sold in December. Since it began its marketing, Better Place has sold just 500 electric cars in Israel.

 

 

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