Vianode, a Norwegian producer of advanced battery materials with a greener footprint, has announced the appointment of Burkhard Straube as Chief Executive Officer and Hans Erik Vatne as Chief Operating Officer. Both leaders bring extensive experience to Vianode as the company delivers on its growth plan.
Straube, who is currently the President of the Graphite Solutions Business Unit at SGL Carbon, a position he has held since 2015, will begin as Vianode CEO on 1 October 2023. Meanwhile, Vatne, who has been with Hydro for the last 25 years, including serving as Chief Technology Officer and Head of Corporate Technology Office, will take on the role of interim CEO until Straube joins the company in October, and will then continue as COO.
Vianode’s Goal for Sustainable and Green Transition
Vianode is committed to industrialising the production of sustainable anode materials, which are essential for the world’s green transition, as stated by Asbjørn Søvik, Chair of the Board and interim CEO of Vianode. With Straube’s extensive international leadership experience from SGL Carbon, BASF, and DyStar, he is expected to add deep battery competence with a global perspective on strategy and commercialisation to Vianode.
Straube’s Past Experience
Straube has experience in preparing and positioning organisations for rapid growth and building businesses for future markets, like e-mobility and energy storage. He has a background in the sustainable electrification and green transition of society and industry, which requires responsible, low carbon, and domestic European and North American material production. Vianode’s substantial investment plans and goals to contribute to increased range, faster charging, longer service life, better recyclability, and safety in electric vehicles have impressed Straube.
Vatne’s Role in Vianode’s Future Development
Vatne is considered one of the most accomplished technology-leaders in Europe, with significant operational and management experience, making him an ideal candidate to assist in Vianode’s successful development. Vatne has contributed to the technological verification process following Hydro acquiring 30 percent of Vianode in April 2022, and he brings valuable learnings from his involvement in Hydro’s Batteries unit.
Vianode’s Legacy and Exciting Opportunity
Vianode builds on a strong legacy in advanced material production at an industrial scale, dating back over 100 years and based on renewable hydropower. The company represents a new and exciting opportunity to refine renewable energy into products that are essential in our everyday lives.
The Backing of Three Strong Owners
Vianode is backed by three strong owners, Elkem, Norsk Hydro, and Altor, which provides them with a unique competitive advantage. The support of these three entities strengthens Vianode’s ability to deliver on its growth plan and mission to industrialise the production of sustainable anode materials.
The appointments of Burkhard Straube and Hans Erik Vatne to Vianode’s leadership team mark a significant milestone for the Norwegian battery materials producer. With their extensive experience and unique skill sets, Vianode is poised to make significant strides in the production of sustainable anode materials and contribute to the green transition. The support of three strong owners provides them with a competitive advantage, making Vianode a company to watch in the future.
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