Thorsten Heins couldn't reverse BlackBerry's deep troubles during his time as CEO, but now he's got a new challenge: making Powermat the clear winner in wireless charging. Today, Powermat Technologies announced that Heins has been appointed CEO and Chairman of the board, immediately making him the most powerful and influential executive at the company.
"Powermat's technology is on the cusp of mainstream adoption," Heins said in a statement. "It is built directly into devices and cars, and the list of public venues that have adopted Powermat is growing steadily. In the same way that wireless communications untethered people and allowed them to do more on their own terms, wireless power has the potential to free us from the power cords that limit the freedom of mobile technology." Powermat says that Heins was selected by a search committee, with founder and outgoing CEO Ran Poliakine now planning to serve as Vice Chairman of the board.
Powermat makes wireless charging pads and smartphone cases that allow consumers to charge their devices without dealing with cables. It's locked in a two-horse race with another wireless charging standard — Qi — which has already been adopted by numerous electronics manufacturers and cellular providers. But Powermat has made steady progress as well: its charging mats are making their way to Starbucks locations across the US thanks to a deal between the two companies, and GM is also building Powermat charging into some of the automaker's vehicles. According to today's press release, more announcements regarding partnerships and Powermat's continued global rollout are due in the coming months.
Prior to his time as COO and later CEO of BlackBerry, Thorsten Heins rose through the executive ranks at Siemens. Leading Powermat to victory in the wireless charging war won't be easy, but Heins isn't quite dealing with the same impossible odds and irreversible tide here that he faced at BlackBerry. "I am honored to lead Powermat into its next exciting phase," he said.