Blockchain’s Energy Web Foundation Names Herve Touati As First CEO

Job Appointments | August 6, 2018 By:

The Energy Web Foundation (EWF) has named Hervé Touati PhD as its first CEO. With the announcement, Touati will step down from his role as chair of EWF’s Foundation Council. Grid Singularity co-founder and CEO Ewald Hesse has been named the new chair of the Foundation Council. He was previously the Council’s vice-chair.

Energy Web Foundation (EWF) is a global nonprofit focused on unleashing blockchain’s potential to accelerate the transition to a decentralized, democratized, decarbonized, and resilient energy system. EWF is building the shared, digital infrastructure—an open-source, scalable blockchain platform—specifically designed for the energy sector’s regulatory, operational, and market needs.

Co-founded by Rocky Mountain Institute and Grid Singularity, and with a worldwide network of more than 70 affiliates and growing, EWF is the largest energy blockchain consortium and the industry’s leading choice as the foundational blockchain base layer, providing the digital DNA building blocks powering the world’s energy future.

An energy industry veteran with more than two decades of executive-level experience, Touati comes to EWF from Shell, where he led Shell New Energies’ global Connected Energy business, focused on distributed energy resources. He has also held senior roles at cleantech think tank Rocky Mountain Institute, E.ON Connected Energies and E.ON Climate & Renewables, and McKinsey & Co. He holds a PhD in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley.

“EWF has assembled a global team of some of the best experts in energy and blockchain. With Hervé, we now have a CEO to match,” said EWF Foundation Council chair Ewald Hesse. “We are excited for the vision and leadership he brings, not just to EWF but also to our fast-growing network of affiliates.”

Since the beginning of 2018, the number of EWF Affiliates has more than doubled, making EWF the largest energy blockchain consortium. EWF’s Affiliates include major energy companies, leading utilities and grid operators, global IT and other tech companies, blockchain developers, and innovative energy blockchain startups.

“The opportunity—and the mandate—for energy blockchain now is to bridge from promise to reality,” said Touati. “EWF, our affiliates, and our strategic partners are doing just that. The business use cases are there and more and more utilities and others are devoting resources to exploring blockchain’s potential in the energy sector. Likewise, the core blockchain technology—tailored specifically for the energy sector’s needs—is rapidly advancing thanks to EWF’s work with Parity Technologies, Slock.it, and others. Next, and the real crux, will be merging the business cases and the technology at commercial scale to truly bring energy blockchain to life.”

In addition to installing Touati as its CEO, EWF continues to build out its C suite. Jesse Morris, previously principal in the electricity practice at Rocky Mountain Institute, has been named EWF’s chief commercial officer. Raffaella Piraino, previously CFO of MET International AG, has been named EWF’s chief financial officer.

EWF also announced an expanded Foundation Council. In addition to Hesse, its members include:

  • Jon Creyts, PhD, a managing director at Rocky Mountain Institute,
  • Christoph Frei, PhD, secretary general and CEO of the World Energy Council,
  • Etienne Gehain, PhD, digital innovation officer at Engie,
  • Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of Rocky Mountain Institute, and
  • Ana Trbovich, PhD, co-founder and COO of Grid Singularity.