Former Polaris CEO Tom Tiller Leaves Snow For Sun
Abound Solar hopes Tiller can boost solar energy company
Story by Jerry Bassett, Dec. 10, 2009Email a friend Print Friendly RSS
Under Tillerís leadership Polaris moved into a strong leadership in not only its heritage product of snowmobiles but as a major player in the All Terrain and side-by-side wheeled power products. During his tenure Polaris also grew in world markets, created an engine-manufacturing group to develop its Liberty two-and-four stroke motors, and developed its line of Victory motorcycles.
Tiller led a Polaris-effort to bring Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM into its corporate mix. Such a move would have made Polaris a US$3 billion firm with a very strong and diversified presence in the motorcycle marketplace. Despite acquiring a stake in KTM and sharing technical and marketing expertise, KTM declined Polarisí efforts for any form of merger.
After the Polaris experiment, KTM partnered with Indiaís Bajaj, an international conglomerate whose Baja Auto group is ranked as the worldís largest 2-and 3-wheeler manufacturers. Bajaj holds a 30 percent interest in KTM.
Although the Polaris-KTM deal soured, Tiller successfully made Polaris a multi-faceted company adding Polaris Defense, a military sales and manufacturing arm, which supplies specialized vehicles to the US military. Polaris expanded worldwide under Tiller and now claims a presence in virtually every continent.
Itís Tillerís track record that caught Abound Solarís attention as Doug Schatz, interim CEO and member of the Board of Directors of Abound Solar notes: "In the last year, Abound Solar has reached several key milestones, including commercial production of modules and achieving product certification, with Tom's strong track record of delivering outstanding results ó both at Polaris and General Electric ó the Abound Solar Board of Directors is confident he is the best person to capitalize on that progress and build the next leading solar module manufacturer."
Abound Solar couldnít miss some key aspects of Tillerís time at Polaris during which he oversaw the introduction of more than 170 new products, which led to a doubling of its size and a tripling of its stock price, as well as a significant expansion into international markets. All of which will be important to Abound Solar as the company continues development and commercial-scale of its solar modules that are designed to significantly reduce the cost of generating solar electricity.