It never hurts to know your rivals' weak spots. In that vein, biofuel start-up Cilion has tapped a former British Petroleum executive as its new CEO.
Mark Noetzel logged a 26-year career with BP and Amoco, and most recently was in charge of BP’s retail operations and fuel transports and wholesaling group out of London. So clearly, he knows what his new company is up against in terms of legacy competition.
Cilion, founded in May 2006, converts corn into ethanol. The company’s goal is to provide up to 500 million gallons of American-made ethanol annually. So, not only is it eco-friendly, it's playing on those of us who love to support local innovation. Cilion currently is working on ethanol plants in California and will eventually locate facilities on the east coast.
Cilion is based in Goshen, Calif., and is backed by investors including Khosla Ventures (as in Vinod Khosla, he of Sun Microsystems fame) and Virgin Fuels, a company in billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.