Thinking like the enemy

Summary: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.

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.

Topics: United Kingdom, IT Employment, Start-Ups, Telcos

About

Heather Clancy is an award-winning business journalist specializing in transformative technology and innovation. Her articles have appeared in Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times. In a past corporate life, Heather was editor of Computer Reseller News. She started her journalism lif... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.