Australian battery company Redflow Limited (Redflow) announces leadership changes, including a new Managing Director and CEO and an Independent Non-Executive Chairman, effective immediately, as it prepares to commence manufacturing in Thailand and grow battery sales during the next 12 months.
Appointment of Chief Executive Officer / Managing Director
Redflow’s largest shareholder Simon Hackett - who became acting CEO 12 months ago – has stepped aside from his executive role after completing a year-long mission to refocus, redirect and recapitalise the business. Simon will continue as a non-executive director with special oversight for technology-related matters.
The Redflow Board has promoted Chief Operating Officer, Richard Aird, as CEO to accelerate the company’s new strategic direction announced in May. With more than 20 years’ experience in commercial development and operations, Richard has a thorough understanding of Redflow and its technology from holding various roles with the company since 2009. He has the skills and expertise needed to drive the company as it starts manufacturing batteries in Thailand and implements cost downs in battery production. Discussions regarding terms of engagement to reflect Richard’s new role are well advanced and will be disclosed in accordance with the listing rules when finalised.
Appointment of Independent Chairman
Redflow has also recruited Brett Johnson, Qantas General Counsel from 1995-2012, to its Board as Independent Non-Executive Chairman, replacing Simon Hackett. Brett brings extensive experience including directorships of listed companies, Scott Corporation Limited (2005-2014) and Helloworld Limited (2009-2016), where he was Chairman from August 2014 until December 2015.
Role of former Executive Chairman
Simon's technology oversight role will comprise external communications, public advocacy for the company’s zinc-bromine flow battery technology and guiding its continuing technical development and direction. This includes continued involvement with the development of the Battery Management System (BMS) that he architected; simplifying, standardising and documenting battery interface, configuration and performance tuning at customer sites; and providing key input into installer training processes.
Restructuring for growth
During the past year, Redflow has completed a major strategic redirection. It is transitioning battery production from Mexico to Thailand, refocusing its sales and marketing on lead-acid replacement cycles in the telecommunications, commercial, industrial and off-grid residential sectors, and has raised an additional $14.5 million in equity - including $4 million from Simon Hackett.
Redflow’s incoming Chairman, Brett Johnson, said he was excited to join the company. “Redflow has a unique and compelling value proposition in the booming energy storage market,” he said.
“During the past year, Simon and the Board have identified and implemented a strategy to grow battery manufacturing and sales significantly. I look forward to working with Richard and the Board to focus on this strategy and move Redflow to being a truly successful Australian technology company.”
Redflow CEO Richard Aird said the company was focussed on the successful production of batteries in Thailand. “Once the new factory is operating, we will undertake a series of further cost-down initiatives to ensure our batteries are both profitable and competitive,” he said.
Simon Hackett said today’s leadership changes would advantage the success of Redflow. “These enhancements to our management and Board structure are designed to ensure we have right people working in their respective areas of strength,” he said.
“With running the business and the Board now in the hands of professionals in those fields, I can focus my passion, skills and energy on successfully overseeing the interface between Redflow’s unique technology into real-world energy systems, and communication of these benefits to customers and industry.
“The past year has seen strong demand for our batteries, so my goal is to ensure that as we scale up production, our partners find it easy to integrate Redflow batteries into energy storage systems.”
Redflow | http://www.redflow.com