Architect of Apple's successful renewable energy program lands at electric motor firm

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2018
Mike Petouhoff, who helped Apple reach a lofty 100 percent renewable energy goal as the company's Global Energy Team Leader, has joined Software Motor Company to help build a new breed of highly efficient electric motor.

Solar Farm


Announced by SMC on Tuesday, Petouhoff recently started work as the motor firm's VP of Business Development.

The timeline of Petouhoff's departure from Apple, and his subsequent move to SMC, is murky. According to his LinkedIn profile, Petouhoff joined SMC in January after serving as Apple's Global Energy Team Leader from May 2010 to December 2017. Today's press release, however, notes a stint as executive director of One Grid Energy Solutions, a firm focused on efficient power grid solutions.

An internet cache of Petouhoff's LinkedIn account includes mention of the One Grid position, though the blurb has since been scrubbed from the page.

At Apple, Petouhoff was responsible for designing and implementing the company's net zero carbon footprint plan, which sought to power corporate, retail and other facilities with 100 percent renewable energy. Petouhoff streamlined Apple's infrastructure to cut down on energy overhead, worked with government bodies, negotiated energy contracts, established energy programs and developed an energy and carbon accounting program to meet industry-leading targets.

The culmination of Petouhoff's efforts were distilled in Apple Park, where he "led the energy track" for the 100 percent renewable energy campus. The undertaking involved designing and implementing an energy efficient facility with on-site solar, grid-based solar, on-site fuel cells, batteries and micro-grid architecture, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Prior to Apple, Petouhoff performed similar duties as Chevron's "Zero Net Energy Thought Leader."

Apple has been working toward net zero energy for years, starting with a promise to power its Maiden, N.C., data center with renewable resources in 2012. Identical projects involving solar, wind and fuel cell solutions have rolled out with each new facility, including a $2 billion data center in Mesa, Ariz.

In 2016, Apple joined the RE100 initiative, effectively pledging to transition its worldwide infrastructure to renewable energy sources.

After significant investments, Apple reached the net zero milestone earlier this month. CEO Tim Cook has mentioned the achievement on more than one occasion, and did so again in an earnings conference call on Tuesday.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    jonagoldjonagold Posts: 31member
    Damn, poor guy worked himself out of a job. Thanks for helping save our planet. 
    baconstangwelshdogjony0
  • Reply 2 of 14
    anton zuykovanton zuykov Posts: 1,040member
    jonagold said:
    Damn, poor guy worked himself out of a job. Thanks for helping save our planet. 
    Unlikely. Most likely, he has lost interest, since he achieved the goal. Usually people like that do not stay in the same place, unless there are other big challenges to tackle there. That would be my guess..
    edited May 2018 propodjony0cornchip
  • Reply 3 of 14
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,786member
    jonagold said:
    Damn, poor guy worked himself out of a job. Thanks for helping save our planet. 
    Not so sure.  I reckon that both he and Apple agreed his tenure would last until the 100% objective was met. Apple doesn’t keep people they don’t need, and the kind of people who work for Apple don’t like sitting about doing nothing. 
  • Reply 4 of 14
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,703member
    What Rayz (and Jonahgold) said. Hired to do a job, did the job, moving on. Apple will be able to continue that work without him, and his new job sounds intriguing as well (and clearly Apple will not be designing its own electric motor). I can see why he'd be interested in working with Software Motor, and I hope he can do for them what he did for Apple.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,453member
    jonagold said:
    Damn, poor guy worked himself out of a job. Thanks for helping save our planet. 
    Or perhaps he knows a lot about Apple's project Titan.  Could it be he is essentially still working for / with Apple and this new company?
    edited May 2018 SpamSandwichjony0cornchip
  • Reply 6 of 14
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,283member
    MacPro said:
    jonagold said:
    Damn, poor guy worked himself out of a job. Thanks for helping save our planet. 
    Or perhaps he knows a lot about Apple's project Titan.  Could it be he is essentially still working for / with Apple and this new company?
    What would a "Switched Reluctance"replacement for AC induction motors have to do with automotive? That's the business Software Motors is in, nothing at all related to automotive use. 
    jony0
  • Reply 7 of 14
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,526member
    gatorguy said:
    MacPro said:
    jonagold said:
    Damn, poor guy worked himself out of a job. Thanks for helping save our planet. 
    Or perhaps he knows a lot about Apple's project Titan.  Could it be he is essentially still working for / with Apple and this new company?
    What would a "Switched Reluctance"replacement for AC induction motors have to do with automotive? That's the business Software Motors is in, nothing at all related to automotive use. 
    Tesla is using a hybrid switched reluctance motor in its Model 3, as contrasted with their induction motors in their Model S and X.
    SpamSandwichjony0cornchip
  • Reply 8 of 14
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,283member
    quinney said:
    gatorguy said:
    MacPro said:
    jonagold said:
    Damn, poor guy worked himself out of a job. Thanks for helping save our planet. 
    Or perhaps he knows a lot about Apple's project Titan.  Could it be he is essentially still working for / with Apple and this new company?
    What would a "Switched Reluctance"replacement for AC induction motors have to do with automotive? That's the business Software Motors is in, nothing at all related to automotive use. 
    Tesla is using a hybrid switched reluctance motor in its Model 3, as contrasted with their induction motors in their Model S and X.
    Thanks! That's informative. No indication that Software Motors has any involvement or interest in automotive, instead working with HVAC and related systems, but still a great mention. 
  • Reply 9 of 14
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,499member
    gatorguy said:
    quinney said:
    gatorguy said:
    MacPro said:
    jonagold said:
    Damn, poor guy worked himself out of a job. Thanks for helping save our planet. 
    Or perhaps he knows a lot about Apple's project Titan.  Could it be he is essentially still working for / with Apple and this new company?
    What would a "Switched Reluctance"replacement for AC induction motors have to do with automotive? That's the business Software Motors is in, nothing at all related to automotive use. 
    Tesla is using a hybrid switched reluctance motor in its Model 3, as contrasted with their induction motors in their Model S and X.
    Thanks! That's informative. No indication that Software Motors has any involvement or interest in automotive, instead working with HVAC and related systems, but still a great mention. 
    Maybe Apple sends out stealth employees to determine if a company is worth buying?
    jony0cornchip
  • Reply 10 of 14
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,283member
    gatorguy said:
    quinney said:
    gatorguy said:
    MacPro said:
    jonagold said:
    Damn, poor guy worked himself out of a job. Thanks for helping save our planet. 
    Or perhaps he knows a lot about Apple's project Titan.  Could it be he is essentially still working for / with Apple and this new company?
    What would a "Switched Reluctance"replacement for AC induction motors have to do with automotive? That's the business Software Motors is in, nothing at all related to automotive use. 
    Tesla is using a hybrid switched reluctance motor in its Model 3, as contrasted with their induction motors in their Model S and X.
    Thanks! That's informative. No indication that Software Motors has any involvement or interest in automotive, instead working with HVAC and related systems, but still a great mention. 
    Maybe Apple sends out stealth employees to determine if a company is worth buying?
    LOL... Never trust the true intentions of a "former" Apple employee eh? 
    But yeah certainly possible. 
    SpamSandwichcornchip
  • Reply 11 of 14
    jonagold said:
    Damn, poor guy worked himself out of a job. Thanks for helping save our planet. 
    Unlikely. Most likely, he has lost interest, since he achieved the goal. Usually people like that do not stay in the same place, unless there are other big challenges to tackle there. That would be my guess..
    What a load of crap. I worked with that group. He has been gone much linger than since December, and it wasn't because he 'finished the job".  More like the Peter Principle.  
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 12 of 14
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,283member
    jonagold said:
    Damn, poor guy worked himself out of a job. Thanks for helping save our planet. 
    Unlikely. Most likely, he has lost interest, since he achieved the goal. Usually people like that do not stay in the same place, unless there are other big challenges to tackle there. That would be my guess..
    What a load of crap. I worked with that group. He has been gone much linger than since December, and it wasn't because he 'finished the job".  More like the Peter Principle.  
    The AI article mentions the murky timeline, with a mention of an interim position at One Grid Energy before moving over to his current employer. Not likely he's an Apple mole. 
  • Reply 13 of 14
    quinney said:
    gatorguy said:
    MacPro said:
    jonagold said:
    Damn, poor guy worked himself out of a job. Thanks for helping save our planet. 
    Or perhaps he knows a lot about Apple's project Titan.  Could it be he is essentially still working for / with Apple and this new company?
    What would a "Switched Reluctance"replacement for AC induction motors have to do with automotive? That's the business Software Motors is in, nothing at all related to automotive use. 
    Tesla is using a hybrid switched reluctance motor in its Model 3, as contrasted with their induction motors in their Model S and X.
    I believe Tesla "Samsung'd" BMW's electric engine design used in the i3 and i8.
     
  • Reply 14 of 14
    anton zuykovanton zuykov Posts: 1,040member
    jonagold said:
    Damn, poor guy worked himself out of a job. Thanks for helping save our planet. 
    Unlikely. Most likely, he has lost interest, since he achieved the goal. Usually people like that do not stay in the same place, unless there are other big challenges to tackle there. That would be my guess..
    What a load of crap. I worked with that group. He has been gone much linger than since December, and it wasn't because he 'finished the job".  More like the Peter Principle.  
    I said that it was my guess. 
    Also, since you have only 1 comment here on AI, and your user name is applepastemployee, you must be a legit person who used to work for Apple. /s
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