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Avina Clean Hydrogen board adds former Cummins, Rolls-Royce, BP America execs

April 17, 2023
Tom Linebarger, Susan Dio, and Warren east join the hydrogen company's leaders to aid Avina in decarbonizing industries.

Avina Clean Hydrogen has added of Tom Linebarger, former CEO of Cummins; Susan Dio, former president and chairman of BP America; and Warren East, former CEO of Rolls-Royce to the Avina Advisory Board (AAB). This group will help shape and guide Avina's strategic initiatives, as well as advise on how best to leverage hydrogen to address decarbonization challenges of hard-to-abate sectors, according to an Avina press release.

"We are so grateful that a highly esteemed group of leaders have agreed to serve as our inaugural advisory board and have chosen Avina as a platform to drive meaningful decarbonization in hard-to-abate sectors," said Avina Founder and CEO Vishal Shah. "Now, more than ever before, green hydrogen has a meaningful role to play as a climate solution in multiple industries and each leader brings a unique expertise and perspective from their respective backgrounds, which will be crucial in addressing the needs of a diverse portfolio of industries and end customers."

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Tom Linebarger is executive chairman and chairman of the board of Cummins, and was the CEO for more than 10 years until he stepped down in August 2022. As CEO, Tom led the engine manufacturer to focus more on zero- and low-carbon solutions. Under Tom’s leadership, Cummins developed Destination Zero, the company’s strategy to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

To achieve this goal, Cummins is offering customers a range of solutions required for the energy transition, including advanced diesel, natural gas, and fuel-agnostic engine platforms. Cummins recently announced a hydrogen internal combustion technology that includes a 15L hydrogen engine, which will go into full production in 2027. The company has also announced several fuel-cell partnerships with Daimler Truck North America, Komatsu, and Scania, as well as converting Air Products’ 2,000-truck delivery fleet to fuel-cell electric vehicles. In addition, Cummins is manufacturing a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain for use in North America and continues to build a presence in the electrolyzer business.

Tom is currently the co-chair of The Hydrogen Council, a global CEO-led coalition working to accelerate the energy transition through hydrogen. The Hydrogen Council includes CEOs from over 300 companies in sectors including automotive, gas, utility, and technology companies.

“There are few executives in the world who share Tom’s wealth of experience in driving legacy sectors to adopt zero and low-carbon solutions,” Shah said. “We are fortunate to have a leader with his background to embrace and champion Avina’s mission to accelerate the energy transition in hard-to-decarbonize sectors by bringing solutions to deploy green hydrogen at scale.”

See also: EPA proposes even stronger pollution standards for all trucks and cars

Susan Dio is an executive with over 25 years of experience in international refining, petrochemicals, and oil and gas. Prior to her retirement in 2020, Susan was chairman and president of BP America where she had responsibility for all BP businesses in the U.S. In addition, she worked with policymakers and trade associations on trade and energy policy, as well as navigating the energy transition toward a low-carbon future. As chairman of the BP America board, she focused on setting strategic direction and oversight of material risk across the 350 US subsidiaries. Between 2015 and 2018, Susan was CEO of BP Shipping, which managed the fleet of BP-operated and chartered vessels that moved over 200 million tons of products around the globe each year. As CEO, she reset the organization’s strategy and operations and modernized the company’s fleet, delivering 26 new tankers. Other roles Susan held at BP include head of audit for refining and marketing and managing director of a refinery in Australia. She holds a degree in chemical engineering.

“Susan’s leadership and expertise, especially in the oil and gas sector, will be invaluable as we continue our conversations with leading executives who recognize the importance of hydrogen in solving the toughest de-carbonization challenges in the energy sector,” Shah said.

See also: 2023 alternative-fuel engine outlook

Warren East retired as the CEO of Rolls-Royce in December 2022. Warren initially joined the company as a board member in 2014 after retiring as the CEO of semiconductor company ARM. He became the Rolls-Royce CEO in 2015. Rolls-Royce manufactures aircraft engines as well as engines for boats, trains, large land vehicles, and nuclear submarine reactors. As CEO, Warren pushed to modernize the company and to embrace sustainability. He committed to becoming a net-zero carbon company by 2050, and he invested money in R&D around new aero engine design and nuclear power. He also established a sustainable solutions business in the power systems division to develop microgrid solutions, including hydrogen electrolyzers and fuel cells. The company created a new business to focus on electrical aviation and broke the world record for the fastest electric flight. Recently Rolls-Royce demonstrated a gas turbine aero engine running on 100% hydrogen and is also enabling all its aero engines to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) as well as working across the industry to establish the SAF ecosystem.

See also: Diesel down slightly as U.S. average falls for 10th week in a row

“Warren’s extraordinary legacy of trailblazing leadership in technology and aviation sectors will be very valuable to Avina’s continued growth,” said Avina board member Steven Berkenfeld. “We are excited for Warren to share his unique perspectives with our team as we continue to deploy green hydrogen and ammonia solutions in new sectors.”

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