Better Place Inc. will focus on strengthening partnerships with carmakers and the big banks, and to establish new partnerships. "Not just Renault. We'll focus on big partnerships all over the world," said new CEO Evan Thornley at a press conference at the company's headquarters in Tel Aviv this morning. He said that the electric car venture had completed the first step, setting up the battery recharging network, and it was now time for the next step.
"I spent a decade in Silicon Valley. In a company's life cycle, you first have to deal with the big things. Then, when you've entered the market with customers and partners, you go into the small details. You grow inch by inch," said Thornley. "Better Place has done the big things. We built the network. That is Shai Agassi's legacy. The big things have been done and they work. We're now learning from our customers. That's the company's next step which we will focus on."
Thornley said, "I am Shai Agassi's friend. I am proud to be Shai Agassi's friend and I am proud to work in the company he founded. We're both graduates of Silicon Valley. This is the first time that I am joining someone else's vision. When Shai and I sat down for a cup of coffee 4-5 years ago, it was very hard to imagine that we'd be here today, that we would be driving electric cars in Israel. You have to write news articles every day and sell newspapers, but I think that the way the media has treated Shai Agassi in the past few days is disgraceful. I told him that we'd pursue his vision."
Thornley added, however, "I don’t think that he implemented everything perfectly, which is why we're here now."
Thornley added that Better Place will consider lowering prices to boost sales though he pointed out that as Agassi recently said rising gasoline prices will make Better Place cheaper.
When asked about the company's finiancial situation, Thornley said "We will soon complete another financing round and I will give more details then. We will hold an IPO at some time in the future. I see that being in the long term. My aim is to build a good company."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 10, 2012
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