Third Better Place CEO In Four Months Departs

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Better Place Battery Swap Station

Better Place Battery Swap Station

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Better Place, the battery-swapping network operating in Israel and Denmark, didn't have an easy 2012, and 2013 is looking little better.

Indeed, Reuters now confirms the departure of their current CEO, Evan Thornley.

Better Place founder Shai Agassi was ousted last October, following losses of $490 million since the company was founded.

Agassi was replaced by Moshe Kaplinsky, who walked out only a month later. Since then, the company has been led by Evan Thornley, previously CEO of Better Place Australia.

Now Thornley has gone too, suggesting investors are still unhappy with the loss-making company, with total losses now understood to be $561.5 millon.

Better Place partnered with French automaker Renault in 2008, whose Fluence Z.E. electric car has been designed to work with Better Place's battery-swapping system. Sales have been slow however, even in the Israeli market, where only 600 cars have been sold.

Renault had to delay its Australian roll-out of the Fluence Z.E. last month, owing to delays at Better Place in setting up its network. Back in 2008, Better Place had committed to an order of 100,000 Fluence electric cars--a number looking increasingly optimistic.

Acting CEO Alan Gelman, along with Johnny Hansen, believes Better Place has tried to expand too fast, but the company will now put more effort into success in the initial markets of Denmark and Israel.

The company's position looks ever more precarious, though spirits have been recently buoyed by large fleet sales.

For the time being though, Better Place seems as adept at swapping CEOs as it does swapping batteries...

[Hat tip: Brian Henderson]

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