Ryan Popple, current director and former CEO of Proterra, died Dec. 15, 2021, according to a statement on the company’s website.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our colleague and dear friend, Ryan Popple. Ryan embodied entrepreneurial spirit and devoted his life to creating a better future. His leadership at Proterra was first and foremost about increasing access to affordable, sustainable solutions and shaping a zero-emission transportation future for the health of our planet and communities,” Proterra’s statement read.
Popple was an alumnus of the College of William & Mary and Harvard University, as well as an officer in the U.S. Army. He joined Tesla Motors’ finance department in 2007 and worked his way up to senior director of finance. During his time at Tesla, the company scaled from pre-revenues to more than $100 million. Popple worked with engineering teams to increase the company’s Roadster’s performance and developed Tesla’s consumer financing and leasing programs.
He was named a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 2010, a firm focused on cleantech investments in mobility and transportation. Popple was named CEO of Proterra in 2014 and in the first year of his tenure, the company doubled manufacturing capacity.
Proterra marked several milestone’s under Popple’s leadership including the introduction of the Catalyst E2, the launch of company’s connected vehicle intelligence system and Proterra Energy fleet solutions and the scaling of the company’s battery leasing program, among other accomplishments.
Popple transitioned from the role of CEO in 2020 and was named co-founder and executive director. Proterra recently announced he would be stepping down from the board and Popple noted in the announcement his confidence the company was in good hands.
For all of Popple’s success working on the development and adoption of electric vehicles, a role he valued above all was that of husband, father and friend.
Popple is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and their three children.
Additional information regarding memorials will be added if and when they are made public.