Better Place Inc. CEO Evan Thornley has resigned after just three months in the job. Sources said that the reason for his departure from the electric car venture is differences with Idan Ofer over Better Place's future, especially over plans to reduce activity in global markets and focus on its core markets of Israel and Denmark. .
Thornley was appointed CEO in early October 2012, after serving as CEO of Better Place Australia. He succeeded Shai Agassi, who was allegedly ousted from the company in a dispute with Better Place chairman Ofer. Thornley said at the time, "Four years ago, Shai asked me to join the Better Place mission and bring it to Australia. It has been my pleasure to lead that effort along with my colleague CEOs in Israel, Denmark and now the Netherlands. Today, it is an honor for me to step up and lead this fantastic global team on a day-to-day basis."
Thornley's first job as CEO was to present an urgent recovery plan for Better Place's Israeli operations, which were a condition for further financing. He presented the plan to the board of Israel Corporation (TASE: ILCO), Better Place's controlling shareholder, in December. The plan included sharp spending cuts, extensive layoffs, an expansion of activity in other countries, offering battery recharging services to other electric car-makers, and offering a new and cheaper plan to leasing companies.
Thornley's departure apparently indicates that the plan was not specific enough for Israel Corp. and Better Place's other investors.