B.C. cleantech firm Portable Electric taps former IBM exec as CEO

Founder Mark Rabin taking on new role of chief visionary officer

Portable Electric CEO Scott Hardy | Submitted

Vancouver’s Portable Electric Ltd. is looking to generate some buzz with a change in leadership and business strategy for the cleantech firm.

The company revealed Tuesday founder Mark Rabin is shifting from the CEO job to the newly created position of chief visionary officer.

Tech executive Scott Hardy, who previously led DDS Wireless International Inc. after serving as a vice-president at IBM Canada Ltd., takes over as CEO. 

Portable Electric is best known for manufacturing, selling and renting battery-powered generators used on film and TV productions across the globe. 

“Mark Rabin did a really fabulous job of setting the stage for something that has an ability to scale and to grow. And, quite frankly, my role is really to come on board and accelerate that growth,” Hardy said, adding Rabin would maintain a front-facing role at the company and help it raise additional capital.  

Hardy is also stepping on board as a company director, investor and shareholder.

“I believe in this passionately,” he said.

Portable Electric’s devices – which are also used for live events and emergency response – plug into walls to recharge or else use solar power for remote locations.

Unlike roaring diesel generators traditionally used on filming locations, Portable Electric’s devices are emissions-free and don’t generate noise that would be picked up by boom microphones. 

Hardy said his priority is to expand Portable Electric beyond being primarily a hardware company. Instead, it will focus more on software that would allow clients to better manage and monitor the generators. 

Hardy said this would allow Portable Electric to more effectively generate recurring revenue as part of what he calls a “power as a service” business model.  

“I fully believe that we are on a path to … well over doubling our revenues — we’ll probably quadruple our revenues — in the coming year,” Hardy told BIV. 

The company is also partnering up with large utilities such as California’s Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (NYSE:PCG), allowing for life-saving devices such as ventilators to keep running via Portable Electric’s generators in the event of a power outage. 

torton@biv.com

@reporton