Konarka CEO Howard Berke Transitions to Executive Chairman of the Board
Current President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Hess Named President and CEO
Lowell, Mass. – June 25, 2007 – Konarka Technologies, Inc., an innovator in development and commercialization of Power Plastic®, a material that converts light to energy, today announced Howard Berke, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Konarka, will assume the new role of executive chairman of the board for the company. In his new responsibilities, he will focus on the company’s ongoing strategic direction, global corporate partnering and scale-up joint ventures. Mr. Berke will further concentrate his focus on renewable energy on a state, national and global level with an expanded emphasis. Rick Hess, currently president and chief operating officer, will succeed Mr. Berke as president and CEO of the company, effectively immediately.
“In this new capacity at Konarka, I will be focusing on developing the strategic direction of the company,” commented Howard Berke, executive chairman of the board at Konarka. “Rick has performed well as president and COO, and our planned succession will allow me to further utilize my industry expertise to ensure that renewable energy interests are identified and supported throughout the state of Massachusetts, United States and internationally.”
Mr. Berke has also accepted a leadership position at Good Energies, a member of COFRA group and one of the largest investment groups in the renewable energy industry. A globally invested portfolio in renewable energy of approximately $1 billion, Good Energies contributes to the challenge of sustainable energy transition through its investments in leading solar photovoltaic companies, including Konarka, as well as wind energy developers and other renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.
As a director of The American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), Mr. Berke is chartered with leading the fundraising initiative for the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC 2008), March 1-7, 2008 in Washington DC. Chaired by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman, the global conference will focus on national action plans with respect for sovereignty, independence and continued voluntary collaboration among nations.
Mr. Berke has nearly 30 years of hands-on
management experience launching, building and leading both public and
private technology companies. This includes 20 years of general
management with full P&L responsibility for eight start-up
companies and nine years of business development and marketing focusing
on emerging technologies. He has founded or co-founded 13 start-up
companies and has initiated and completed numerous corporate
acquisitions, mergers and R&D joint ventures in the US, Europe and
Asia. He advises start-up companies and entrepreneurs in a wide range
of fields including medical devices, biotech informatics, software,
networking, telecom and energy technology.
In addition to serving as Konarka’s delegate to the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers, he sits on the board of directors for ACORE, has helped to found and organize the Massachusetts Clean Energy Council and has guest lectured on entrepreneurship at Yale, Harvard, MIT and elsewhere throughout the world. He received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Yale University.
“As president and CEO, I will continue to build upon our success in renewable energy, embarking upon the commercialization of our first products,” commented Rick Hess, new president and CEO of Konarka. “Power Plastic will enable many new applications for solar technology through its unique properties. My experience in leading teams to assess customer needs and bring products from the lab to full scale commercialization will ensure we continue to execute on our vision for low cost sources of renewable power that are affordable and universally available.”
Mr. Hess has a broad background as a leader in both start-up companies and established corporations. Prior to joining Konarka, he was previously president of M/A-COM, a manufacturer, designer and marketer of high frequency components and systems for the wireless, defense, public safety and automotive markets, now a unit of Tyco Electronics, the largest business unit of Tyco International, a global, diversified company providing products and services in four business segments. He led a team that more than doubled its business through launching new products, entering new markets and completing acquisitions. Mr. Hess has been a member of the Massachusetts Governor’s Regional Competitive Council, a Trustee of Lowell General Hospital and a member of the University of Massachusetts Lowell Industry Board of Advisors. He has been honored as the recipient of the University of Massachusetts Lifetime Achievement in Engineering Award. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University.
About Konarka Technologies, Inc.
Konarka builds products that convert light to energy – anywhere. As the leading developer of polymer photovoltaic technology that provide a source of renewable power in a variety of form factors for commercial, industrial, government and consumer applications, Konarka has a broad portfolio of patents, technology licenses and an accomplished technical team. The Company's technology is focused on delivering lightweight, flexible, scalable and manufacturable products. Konarka Technologies is headquartered in Lowell, Mass., U.S.A., with European headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany, and research and development facility in Austria. For additional information, visit http://www.konarka.com.
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