Sometimes equated to the Steve Jobs of clean-tech, Shai Agassi, originally from Israel is now working and living in the U.S. and currently CEO of Better Place. Before starting his own company Shai worked for SAP until 2007. He started his business career in 1992 founding Quicksoft Development, now TopTier software. He guided the company throughout the 90’s serving in many official positions, and also co-founded other start-ups with his father.
In TopTier’s merger with SAP in 2001, he began his career at SAP. Until 2007 he maintained many executive leadership positions, including President of the Products and Technology Group, and at one point was thought to be in the running to be SAP’s next CEO.
Now as CEO of Better Place Shai Agassi is advocating for a cleaner and more climate friendly roadway. “Better Place works with governments, carmakers, and financial institutes creating a large scale framework for rapid transformation of transport system away from fossil based energy into non-polluting oil free solutions.” He’s raised over $300 million to roll out test runs for electric, battery charged automobiles in recent years. Recently HSBC and Morgan Stanley have also gotten behind Agassi’s efforts. Initially look for a Better Place in Israel and Denmark where trial runs are planned.
For all you single men out there Agassi has some good news, according to him on the Colbert Report although driving his new electric car won’t guarantee you get laid, it’s certainly going to get you more positive womanly attention. Sadly for 2011 only the liberal yuppies in “The Peoples Republic of Berkeley” will get to experiment with his new innovation, Agassi says.
For his serial innovator leadership TIME Magazine named him in the 2009 TIME World’s 100 most influential people, and one of TIME’s “Heroes of the Environment 2008.” Fast Company placed him third on its “100 Most Creative People in Business” list. Most recently, Scientific American Magazine named him to the 2009 Scientific American 10, a select group of 10 people who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to assuring the benefits of new technologies and knowledge will accrue to humanity.