EV Charger Company Coulomb Appoints New CEOBy John O'Dell February 9, 2011
Coulomb Technologies, an increasingly important player in the growing EV charger market, has named longtime digital networking executive Pasquale "Pat" Romano as its new chief executive and president, replacing co-founder Richard Lowenthal. Lowenthal, who helped start the California-based company in 2007, is transitioning into the post of chief technical officer and head of Coulomb's government affairs office as the company makes a transition of its own from entrepreneurial start-up into the growth and marketing development stages.
Under Lowenthal, Coulomb has become a leading provider of networked public, commercial and private electric vehicle charging stations. It won a $37 million federal contract last year to manage one of two national charger distribution and installation programs aimed at providing initial infrastructure for the first crop of plug-in electric-drive vehicles from Nissan, General Motors, Ford, Mitsubishi and smart.
Coulomb was co-recipient last year of the inaugural Green Technology Breakthrough award from Edmunds Green Car Advisor. The company's competitive strategy centers on its networked system, which enables drivers of plug-in cars and trucks to access charging stations all across the country, to subscribe to various use and payment plans and to remotely monitor and track charging and electricity use patterns for their vehicles.
Coulomb's networking software "is our competitive edge," Romano said in a brief interview with AuroObserver Green this morning. Romano brings a depth of experience in networking solutions and corporate development to Coulomb. He co-founded telecommunications gateway specialist 2Wire Inc. in 1998 and served as its president from 2006 until its sale for $475 million late last year to pay-TV technology developer Pace.
A graduate of Harvard and MIT, Romano co-founded digital video networking company Fluent Inc. in 1989 and when it was sold to software provider Novell Corp. in 1993 moved to audio-visual technologies giant Polycom, where he worked as director of product development and marketing until leaving to help start 2Wire.
Romano - who helped grow 2Wire into a global company with more than 1,400 employees - said he is joining Coulomb to help it continue its innovation and mange the "tremendous growth it experienced in 2010 and that will continue now that the [plug-n] cars are here."
He said he would work with Lowenthal "as partners in growing the business" and would focus initially on ensuring the Coulomb delivers top-notch customer service. Not that there's a problem now, but we want to ensure that no inadequacy develops," Romano said. "That's my top focus."