GE vet David McCulloch joins Bloom Energy as comms head

McCulloch starts on March 26.

David McCulloch
David McCulloch

SUNNYVALE, CA: GE vet David McCulloch is joining Bloom Energy as VP of strategic communications.

March 26 is McCulloch’s first day at Bloom Energy, a Silicon Valley company that wants to generate cleaner energy using technology and research from NASA.

Based in Sunnyvale, California, he will report to CMO Matt Ross in the newly created role. McCulloch will build a communications team and help scale growth worldwide.

"I was a math major, believe it or not, a long time ago, and so I’m a big believer in science," McCulloch said. "And if you believe in science, you know that addressing climate change by evolving our energy mixes is the challenge of our generation."

Bloom Energy uses fuel cells to convert natural gas into electricity and sells those power-source units to clients. Its client base is mostly made up of corporations, medical centers, and data centers, and includes Apple, eBay, FedEx, and Caltech.

Bloom Energy sells its services through utilities, such as Atlanta-based Southern Company. It inked a partnership with the energy provider in October 2016.

McCulloch explained clients are seeking out power sources beyond "the grid" amid a steep rise in weather-related outages as extreme weather becomes more frequent. Bloom Energy provides an alternative to that traditional infrastructure with a local power source. It also allows clients, especially those without access to solar and wind energy, to reduce their carbon footprint.

Bloom Energy has raised $1.06 billion across 15 rounds and has a valuation of $3 billion, according to PitchBook data cited by CNBC in its 2017 Disruptor 50 profile. Its board includes Colin Powell and John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

McCulloch joins the late-stage startup from GE Power Digital, where he led global comms. While he was there, the business unit won a PRWeek Award for best B2B campaign. His last day at GE is March 23.

At a time when the stock market was gathering steam, GE endured a long spate of stock troubles. Earnings continue to disappoint and its stock is down nearly 55% since December 2016.

More recently, GE announced it would restructure its business. During that time, it made marginal cuts to corporate comms. GE Power named Greg Gibbons, the former SVP of comms at Siemens, as its comms chief in December 2017.

Earlier this month, GE’s chief comms officer, Dierdre Latour, exited after serving for 14 years.

GE declined to comment on McCulloch’s departure.

Before GE, McCulloch served at Cisco for eight years, most recently as head of global PR and senior director of corporate comms. Prior to that, he was EVP at Text100.

McCulloch won PR Professional of the Year at the 2014 PRWeek Awards. 

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