VivoPower forms Advisory Council and welcomes Eric Achtmann as first member

2020-09-24T20:12:25+10:00

We are pleased to announce that we have formed the VivoPower Advisory Council to help us successfully execute our strategic pivot into the commercial electric vehicle market.  

The Council’s first member is Eric Achtmann, an entrepreneurial executive based in Boston. 

A track record of transformation

Achtmann has an impressive track record of creating exponential value in challenging growth environments across multiple industries. His expertise in multi-billion-dollar publicly traded and private companies – such as Airbus, BMW, Dana Inc, McDonnell Douglas, McKinsey and Whitbread PLC / Costa Coffee – will no doubt be an asset throughout our transition.

‘Given my passion for innovation, people development and social responsibility, I am very proud to join this remarkable team and mission,’ he said. 

‘I look forward to working closely with Kevin [Chin] and his team to support VivoPower as it executes [this] strategy.’

A long-awaited collaboration

Our executive chairman and CEO has been keen to collaborate with Achtmann for some time since learning about his feats, especially the hyper-transformation of Costa Coffee.

There, Achtmann proposed and delivered the Costa Express – an award-winning fresh drinks system with 125 patents and claims – within just 6 months. The system was deployed globally and transformed Costa’s growth trajectory. Coca-Cola subsequently acquired the company for $5.1 billion.

Achtmann spoke to the VivoPower team about this innovation at its quarterly global leadership conference this week.

A career of innovation

Long before that, Achtmann began his career as a design and software engineer. He earned a Master’s Degree in Aero- and Astronautics and an MBA in Finance from MIT, and was a part of their joint Lean Aerospace Initiative with the US Air Force. He focused on lean manufacturing for the F/A-18 Hornet at the highly regarded McDonnell Douglas Phantom Works.  

Achtmann was then recruited by McKinsey to focus on M&A and later pioneered their advanced product development business. He has also:

  • co-founded and been managing partner of a pan-European venture capital fund 
  • been a founding member of Meggitt PLC’s Technology Advisory Board
  • created several companies, including ReClimate Energy Capital for renewable energy data analysis
  • led Germany-based management and advisory firm Global Capital Group since 2016, partnering with global clients to ‘pivot, repurpose, innovate and transform’ their businesses.  

‘Given his very uncommon skills and experience that span design, engineering, technology, business and finance, I am convinced that Eric will be able to guide us on our strategic pivot,’ said Chin.

‘His prior mobility sector experience will be highly relevant, as will his extensive rolodex globally.’

Outside the boardroom, Achtmann is:

  • an expert advisor to the European Commission
  • a member of the Boston Committee on Foreign Relations
  • a US Air Force AFWERX and Techstars Mentor
  • a frequent speaker and university lecturer.

Read the full press release on our Investors page, and watch for more Advisory Council announcements here and on LinkedIn in the coming weeks.