DTE Joint Venture Powerley Hires Silicon Valley CEO, Grows Company In Year One

Royal Oak-based software company Powerley has hired Manoj Kumar as its CEO and is moving into new office space in downtown Royal […]

Royal Oak-based software company Powerley has hired Manoj Kumar as its CEO and is moving into new office space in downtown Royal Oak.

Powerley is a joint venture formed in 2015 between DTE Energy and Royal Oak-based global design and technology firm Vectorform.

Powerley will employ nearly 20 employees in its new Royal Oak office.

Kumar’s appointment follows the release of an app that allows users to monitor energy consumption information in real time and get coaching tips on how to optimize energy usage.

“With the successful launch of the DTE Insight app, we knew we needed the right talent and leader to realize the potential both Vectorform and DTE saw in Powerley when the joint venture was formed,” said Jason Vazzano, co-founder and CEO of Vectorform. “Manoj brings the right blend of entrepreneurial drive, technical knowledge and business savvy to capitalize on growing consumer demand nationwide.”

Kumar, who was most recently a partner at McKinsey & Co.’s Silicon Valley office, brings more than two decades of experience in the tech world to Powerley, according to a news release. In his new role, he will be responsible for growing the startup into a multi-product and solution company focused on working with utilities to further the availability of real-time, energy monitoring applications.

With this kind of technology platform now a part of Powerley’s product offerings, the company is looking to offer this platform to other utilities around the world, according to the release. Multinational consulting firm Accenture said upward of “60 percent of consumers want home energy management services” and would use it if their utilities provided them. More than 150,000 DTE customers have downloaded the Insight app to date and Kumar said he is aware of the growing demand in this market.

“This is an evolving market, and we’re on the edge of incredible growth,” Kumar said in the release. “The home automation market has an incredibly high amount of fragmentation, coupled with unbelievable opportunity. Powerley has proven success through unprecedented collaboration with DTE Energy, one of Michigan’s largest utilities, and we plan to build on that success globally.”

Originally published on Crain’s Detroit Business.