Princeton Power Systems, a firm that started in a Princeton University dorm room a dozen years ago and now designs technology to handle energy management, microgrid operations, and electric vehicle charging, has gone through another phase in its evolution.
Marshall Cohen, a veteran manager of high tech enterprises who had replaced the young founder of the company, Darren Hammell, in 2009, now has become chairman of the board of directors and turned over CEO duties to Ken McCauley, who joined Princeton Power Systems in March as vice president of sales. McCauley had previously been director of sales at Lucent/AT&T Microelectronics and later vice president of worldwide sales and corporate marketing at Anadigics. The press release announcing the changes said that McCauley brings “extensive international experience across more than 30 countries. including five years as a resident of China and Japan.”
In becoming chairman of the board, Cohen replaced Ed Zschau, who will continue as a director of Princeton Power. Zschau, who first noticed the promise of Princeton Power Systems when Hammell and several college friends participated in his Princeton course on high tech entrepreneurism, said in a statement: “At this time of exceptional opportunity and growth of Princeton Power, there is a need for stronger board and operational leadership. Marshall as chairman and Ken as president and CEO will provide what the company needs now to become a major player in the 21st century power industry.”
Added Cohen: “The company has made real and significant progress commercializing its innovative technology installing a broad range of high-profile, advanced energy projects in markets ranging from microgrids through electric vehicle infrastructure. This reorganization will help us focus on commercial growth and building strategic partnerships”
The new CEO, who has an MBA from the University of Richmond and a bachelor’s in chemical engineering from Bucknell, said that “Princeton Power has positioned itself for tremendous growth as several markets are converging today to create significant opportunities for our products and services. I look forward to leading the company through its next phase of high-growth and commercialization at home in North America, as well as in serving customer needs around the globe.”
Hammell, who is still with the company as executive vice president of business development, did not immediately return a call left on his voice mail.
A U.S. 1 cover story on January 20, 2010, described how in 2009, with all the executives of the company under 30, “following the board’s suggestion, Hammell ceded the top job to an experienced CEO,” the former CEO and co-founder of Sensors Unlimited, Cohen, a 1971 graduate of the University of Michigan with a Ph.D. from Penn.
“The one thing PPS did not have was anybody who had run a business before,” Cohen told U.S. 1’s Barbara Fox. “People here were struggling too hard on the easy things — the mechanics of running a business, like setting up a vacation schedule, policies, benefits, and interacting with other companies in ways that prevent future conflicts.”
Since then the company has expanded from space at the Sarnoff Center on Washington Road to the Princeton Service Center to Princeton Pike in Lawrence Township. Now it may be poised to grow even more as potential customers come to appreciate its corporate motto: “Clean Power Made Simple.”
Princeton Power Systems Inc., 3175 Princeton Pike, Lawrenceville 08640; 609-955-5390; fax, 609-751-9225. Ken McCauley, CEO. www.princetonpower.com.