Company appoints industry veteran Rod Williams as Chief Commercial Officer, names Strategic Advisory Board, and announces investment from Trucks Venture Capital
LOS ANGELES—Universal Hydrogen Co., the startup making hydrogen aviation a near-term reality, today announced that it appointed Rod Williams as Chief Commercial Officer.
Williams is an industry veteran with extensive aircraft commercial operations experience, having served in a variety of high-level roles at Bombardier including Vice President of Marketing and Vice President of Regional Programs. Previously, he served as Chief Marketing Officer of Wheels Up, as well as President of its Canadian subsidiary. Williams will be part of the Universal Hydrogen leadership team and will be responsible for further developing the company’s commercial relationships with passenger airlines, air cargo operators, and aircraft makers.
“Since our founding a year ago, we have been moving quickly to bring to market a green hydrogen distribution and logistics solution for the aviation sector, as well as the first certified hydrogen powertrain for regional airplanes,” said Paul Eremenko, co-founder and CEO of Universal Hydrogen. “With the addition of Rod to our team, we look forward to amplifying our message of the economic and environmental benefits of green hydrogen to the aviation ecosystem.”
The company also unveiled its Strategic Advisory Board comprising Dr. Tom Enders—former Airbus CEO and current board member of Lufthansa, Linde, and Lilium; Carl Burleson—former FAA Deputy Administrator; Dr. Lourdes Maurice—former FAA Chief Scientist for Environment and recognized for her contribution to the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); and John Leahy—former Airbus Chief Commercial Officer responsible for $1.8 trillion in aircraft sales.
“Hydrogen represents one of the best approaches for the aviation sector to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said Dr. Lourdes Maurice. “The team at Universal Hydrogen is trying to make it happen much sooner by solving two of the biggest outstanding challenges: hydrogen fuel logistics and a certified hydrogen powertrain.”
Universal Hydrogen also recently secured an investment from Trucks Venture Capital. With this financing, Universal Hydrogen is scaling up its engineering team in Los Angeles, building full-scale gaseous and liquid hydrogen modules, and testing an “iron bird” prototype of a fuel cell powertrain suitable for regional and eVTOL applications—all by Q2 2021.
“The future of transportation is being built by companies like Universal Hydrogen. They have developed a pragmatic, near-term, and scalable approach to decarbonize a challenging sector—aviation,” said Jeff Schox, General Partner at Trucks Venture Capital. “We’re proud to be a part of the team’s growth journey.”
For more information, please visit: https://www.hydrogen.aero/
About Universal Hydrogen
Universal Hydrogen is making hydrogen-powered commercial flight a near-term reality. Founded in 2020 by green aviation veterans Paul Eremenko, John-Paul Clarke, Jason Chua, and Jon Gordon, Universal Hydrogen takes a flexible, scalable, and capital-light approach to hydrogen logistics by transporting it in modular capsules over the existing freight network from green production sites to airports around the world. To accelerate market adoption, Universal Hydrogen is also developing a conversion kit to retrofit existing regional airplanes with a hydrogen-electric powertrain compatible with its modular capsule technology.