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Founder Kadens to leave SoCore Energy

Founder Kadens to leave SoCore Energy

by ROB McMANAMY | Oct 30, 2015

Kadens departs SoCore.

Kadens departs SoCore.

Comparisons to Steve Jobs are inaccurate but inevitable. Pete Kadens, the brash young founder of Chicago-based SoCore Energy, one of the nation’s largest solar developers, announced this week that he will be stepping down from the perch that he created some seven years ago. His leadership role had changed in August 2013 when SoCore was acquired by Rosemead CA-based Edison International. It is now a wholly owned subsidiary. 

Scheuermann steps up.

Scheuermann steps up.

"While it is always hard to leave a company you founded -- and subsequently the honor of being part of Edison International -- I am excited to be transitioning interim leadership to Rob (Scheuermann) to take SoCore to the next phase,” said Kadens, who will remain president until Dec 4, then stay on as an advisor through the first quarter of 2016. Scheuermann is currently SoCore's CFO, having joined the firm in 2012.

"Working with Pete over the past couple of years has been one of the most exciting times of my long career in energy," said Scheuermann, who had previously worked in renewable energy finance for both the Wind Capital Group and ABN AMRO Bank N.V. "I am honored and looking forward to working with our customers, team and partners to continue to underpin SoCore's leadership in this fast evolving sector," he added.

Throughout November, Kadens will work with Scheuermann to ensure a smooth transition. Afterward, he will continue to advise Edison Energy Group, the holding company for Edison International’s competitive, unregulated businesses in emerging sectors of the electric industry. 

Litzinger looks ahead.

Litzinger looks ahead.

Ron Litzinger, SoCore's chairman and president of Edison Energy Group, paid tribute to Kadens. "Pete has been instrumental in building one of the most successful solar developers in the commercial and industrial space over the past seven years and has overseen expansion into the wider solar and storage market," he said. "His experience and insight have helped create a unique platform for future growth and while we will clearly miss Pete's leadership, he leaves a legacy which will serve SoCore long into the future." 

Under Kadens' leadership, both before and after the Edison acquisition, SoCore grew into a national solar powerhouse with operations in 17 states and more to come. The rapid growth came via strategic partnerships with large clients like Walgreens, FedExCinemark, IKEA, Target, and last spring, even Tesla Energy.

Walgreens Rx: A key SoCore client, the huge national drug store chain is aiming to cut its energy use 20% by 2020.

Walgreens Rx: A key SoCore client, the huge national drug store chain is aiming to cut its energy use 20% by 2020.

This summer, speaking on an Infrastructure Thought Leaders panel at the Energy Thought Summit (ETS) in Chicago, Kadens said, "I don’t think we have any choice but to head in the direction of renewable generation... In 2020, I think you will see a dramatically different power mix in the Midwest."

At the moment, that mix already looks dramatically different because Kadens may not be part of it. But who knows? Perhaps, like Steve Jobs, the industry itself may one day demand his return.

Below, Kadens presents this summer at Chicago's Energy Thought Summit.

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