Karl Taft, who founded Hoku as a fuel cell technology development company with Dustin Shindo in 2001, before successfully developing Hoku Membrane and Hoku MEA, has resigned from his position as CTO. After 10 years with the company as CTO, Taft has moved back to Hawaii for personal reasons.
In his role as CTO, Taft managed Hoku’s technology development relationships with Sanyo and Nissan in Japan, and their fuel cell integration and testing relationship with the U.S. Navy.
When Hoku moved into the solar integration and polysilicon industries in 2006, Taft helped identify and secure the polysilicon production technology solutions, and managed the engineering, procurement, and construction of the company’s polysilicon project in Pocatello, Idaho.
“Karl possesses that rarest of combinations in an entrepreneur – he is both a superb technician and engineer, and a charismatic natural leader with the grit and will to succeed against all odds. Without his vision, his innovative problem solving abilities, and his peerless technical expertise, there would be no Hoku today. Kaleo has my earnest admiration for his accomplishments at Hoku, and my warmest wishes for continued success in the future,” said Karl Stahlkopf, the longest serving director on Hoku’s board.
Commenting on his resignation from Hoku, Taft said, “After 10 years of dedication and service to Hoku, I am extremely proud and gratified by what we have accomplished as a company. I have absolute confidence in Scott Paul, Mike Zhang, and the rest of the team that will lead Hoku going forward, and I look forward to the company’s many future successes. On a personal note, having returned to Hawaii after three years in Pocatello, I am looking forward to spending more time with my family, even as I consider new career challenges and opportunities.”
Scott Paul, Hoku’s president and CEO, said, “Kaleo and I have worked closely together for more than seven years. He is someone I would always want on my team, and I sincerely regret his departure. Kaleo has my deepest appreciation for his tireless efforts; I know he will be successful in whatever venture he pursues next.”
Details of Taft’s successor are yet to be announced.