The Proterra Board of Directors have appointed current Chairman Jack Allen as chairman and CEO of the company.
Ryan Popple, Proterra’s CEO since 2014, was named co-founder and executive director. Proterra says it began planning for this transition in January and the board voted earlier this month on Allen’s appointment.
Before joining Proterra as chairman in 2017, Allen spent more than 30 years at Navistar International, where he most recently served as chief operating officer. As CEO, Allen will use his extensive operational experience to guide Proterra’s continuing growth, including scaling operations and supply chain and manufacturing capability to meet growing demand for zero-emission vehicles. He will also continue Proterra’s legacy of delivering EV technology to the market.
Under Popple’s leadership, Proterra has grown from a few customers to more than 120 customers in North America. During his tenure, Popple introduced battery technology, a new Catalyst vehicle platform and heavy-duty charging systems that helped revolutionize the electric transit industry. Popple also led the introduction of Proterra’s EV platform into adjacent vehicle markets, including electric school buses, coach buses and delivery truck chassis with industry-leading partners.
“Only six years ago, the idea that transit could completely eliminate its dependency on fossil fuels was revolutionary,” said Popple. “We proved to the world that transit vehicles could be high-performance, zero-emission electric vehicles, and that the future of the mass transit industry was indeed clean, quiet transportation for all. Now it’s time for Proterra to focus on the next chapter, significantly growing our manufacturing capabilities and the extension of our technology to other vehicle segments. I have worked with Jack for three years on our board and I know that his leadership and experience is exactly what we need to continue meeting EV demand with a highly efficient manufacturing operation, creating reliable, high quality transit vehicles that exceed the capabilities of legacy diesel fleets.”
In his new role, Popple will focus his attention on Proterra’s technology and will report directly to Allen.
“Through Ryan’s leadership, Proterra transformed mass transit and became an industry leader in heavy-duty electric transportation,” said Allen. “I am honored to lead this new chapter for Proterra and committed to delivering the highest quality heavy-duty electric vehicles to our customers and providing Proterra’s innovative technology to other vehicle segments. Through my work on our board, I am fully aware of the very talented and dedicated team at Proterra and I cannot wait to work with them to help meet the growing demand for our heavy-duty electric vehicles.”
Allen and Popple have been working with the entire leadership team to respond to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on the health and safety of Proterra’s employees while meeting the growing demand for electrified transit vehicles, according to the company.
“We are closely watching state, federal and local guidelines to ensure the safety of our employees and taking all steps to avoid the spread of COVID-19, including canceling non-essential travel and requiring employees to work remotely when possible and to follow social distancing requirements when performing essential functions in our facilities. We are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to prioritize the safety and well-being of our employees,” Allen said.