V2Green, a startup that bridges the broadband, energy and automotive industries, needs a leader that can seal the necessary business deals — with utilities, car companies, and even telecom providers. To succeed at that tech intersection the Seattle-based company, which makes software and hardware to help utilities manage the rate at which plug-in vehicles can charge from the power grid, has decided to pass the torch from founder and former CEO David Kaplan to new CEO John Clark.
Kaplan, a 12-year Microsoft (MSFT) veteran who helped build the SQL server business, describes himself to us as a typical technology-focused founder who has now started to concentrate on the company’s technology vision and less on the business responsibilities. Clark, who has a background in telecom startups, joined the year-old company back in August as President and Chief Operating Officer, with the idea that he would take over as CEO as the company grew larger.
Kaplan says Clark has already been responsible for creating V2Green’s first publicly-announced utility trial with XCel Energy. And both Clark, who was actually promoted to the CEO in late November, and Kaplan say the transition is a natural evolution for the company as it builds its customer list and starts selling its product.
It’s not uncommon for small startups to transition founding CEO’s out of their CEO roles, as the companies grow up. The moves can be tricky, as in the case of Tesla, where founder and former CEO Martin Eberhard was unhappy with the way the transition occurred. In V2Green’s case, it sounds like all parties involved are happy with the move (or if they aren’t, they weren’t any disgruntled confessions in our phone interview).
Along with a new CEO, the company is also in the process of raising its Series A round of funding and expects that round to close in the first half of this year. New CEO, new funding, now on to delivering a way for plug-in vehicles to interact more intelligently with the grid!