Powermat CEO Said to Offer to Quit Amid Board Battle

  • Thorsten Heins has given company 30 days to consider offer
  • He ran BlackBerry before replacing Powermat founder in 2014

Thorsten Heins Photographer: Pawel Dwulit/Bloomberg

Thorsten Heins, the embattled chief executive officer of cordless-charging company Powermat Technologies Ltd., has offered to resign, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Claiming a hostile work environment, Heins has given Powermat 30 days to consider his offer, said the person, who requested anonymity to speak freely. Heins hasn’t resigned and remains CEO, said company spokeswoman Amy McDowell. Closely held Powermat sells wireless charging services and has partnerships with General Motors Co., Starbucks Corp. and others.

Heins is at the center of a battle for control of the company between different factions on the board, legal filings show. One camp is led by former Powermat chief Ran Poliakine, who last year filed a lawsuit alleging that Heins was burning through cash and running Powermat without an approved budget. The other side includes shareholders Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and private equity firm Hudson Clean Energy Partners, who support Heins and each have one director on the board. The two sides entered mediation late last year and reached an interim agreement, pending a final settlement.

Heins’s offer to resign falls under what’s known as a “notice of constructive and good reason termination,” the person said. Such arrangements typically guarantee the departing executive a payout.

Heins ran BlackBerry Ltd. from 2012 to late 2013 before joining Powermat, which is based in Neve Ilan, Israel. He replaced Poliakine, who stepped down as part of a settlement with Goldman and Hudson, which opposed his continuing to run the company. At the time, Poliakine supported Heins’s hiring, saying his relationship with mobile carriers would help Powermat compete globally.

The board clash adds to challenges for a management team already confronting intensifying competition in the cordless-charging market.

(Corrects identification of Hudson Clean Energy Partners in third paragraph.)
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