Shai Agassi, the charismatic founder of battery-switching start-up Better Place, is out as CEO. Better Place announced Tuesday that Evan Thornley, CEO of Better Place Australia, is the new global CEO.
The company, dually based in Israel and Palo Alto, has lost more than $490 million since it was founded. Agassi will continue as a board member and shareholder.<
Better Place’s idea of creating battery charging and battery switching stations for electric vehicles has begun to take root in countries like Israel and Denmark.
“It is almost five years to the day since Shai launched Better Place and a natural point in the company’s evolution to realign for its second chapter and for the challenges and opportunities ahead,” said Idan Offer, chairman of the Better Place board of directors, in a statement.
Thornley, who joined Better Place in 2009, assumes the global CEO role immediately.
“Five years ago, I followed my passion to make the world a better place and founded a company to materialize that vision. Very few people are blessed to see such a grand vision become a proven reality within a relatively short time frame,” said Agassi in a statement. “I am proud of the Better Place people and the team that I am leaving behind who will take this company to the next chapter.”