PRESIDENT AND CEO, BALLARD POWER SYSTEMS
Next year Ballard Power Systems
turns 40, and in the words of its chief executive, “this is probably Ballard 4.0 or 5.0, from the different business models we've had.” Founded to develop lithium batteries, the Burnaby-based company pivoted in the 1990s, focusing on hydrogen fuel cell technology. Back then, many observers thought fuel cell passenger cars were the way of the future.
“I have a hydrogen fuel cell car here in Vancouver; it's one of about 10,” says Torontoraised Randy Macewen, who managed other cleantech companies in the U.S. and Canada before becoming president and CEO. “But that's not the key market. The key market is heavy-duty motive–so, buses, commercial trucks, trains and marine-based vehicles.”
Macewen, who holds a law degree from Western University, leads some 450 employees at Ballard. Since his first full year at the helm in 2015, the company has grown from $56 million in annual revenue to more than $121 million. “People are seeing the value proposition for fuel cell electric vehicles for heavy motive,” Macewen says. –N.C.
What’s one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you? I enjoy writing country music songs