Israeli company Better Place dismissed Shai Agassi as chief executive officer
Tuesday, replacing him with Evan Thornley, CEO of its Australian
Agassi, who founded the company in 2007, will continue to serve
as a board member and shareholder. The reason for his dismissal was not made
Better Place unveiled its electric car network in Israel and
Denmark earlier this year, opening dozens of battery switch stations in both
countries to support the commercial launch of Renault’s Fluence Zero Emission
electric vehicles. Only about 1,000 cars have been sold so far, considerably
below the company’s expectations.
The electric car company has raised
around $800 million in funds since its establishment, but incurred $490 million
“Five years ago, I followed my passion to make the world a
better place and founded a company to materialize that vision,” Agassi said in a
press statement released by Better Place.
“Very few people are blessed to
see such a grand vision become a proven reality within a relatively short time
frame. 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.”
appointed CEO of Better Place Australia in January 2009. He came to the company
following a successful career as an entrepreneur and a politician, serving as a
member of parliament and as parliamentary secretary to the premier of the
Australian state of Victoria.
“Four years ago, Shai asked me to join the
Better Place mission and bring it to Australia. It has been my pleasure to lead
the effort along with my colleague CEOs in Israel, Denmark and now the
Netherlands,” Thornley said.
“Today, it is an honor for me to step up and
lead this fantastic global team on a day-to-day basis.”