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Movers & Shakers

Movers & Shakers: Vivint continues to boom with executive shifts

<p>A home automation company makes more changes and Applied Material&#39;s head of corporate responsibility retires.</p>

Who's moving where? Who's doing what? Each month, "Movers and Shakers" chronicles the comings and goings and the promotions and achievements of sustainable business professionals.

Got a tip about someone (maybe you!) who's worthy of a shout-out? Send a note to: [email protected].

When I talked to Bruce Klafter on his last day as the managing director of corporate responsibility and sustainability at Applied Materials, he seemed excited about moving on.

After more than 12 years with the Silicon Valley electronics manufacturing giant, he chose to retire when the company began offering retirement packages to a number of people in its North American operations.

As Klafter recently discussed in an exit interview with GreenBiz Executive Editor Joel Makower about his job as sustainability head, "Sometimes you count yourself fortunate that you don’t get whacked and decreased, but I could never get the additional resource that I wanted."

"I'm ready to look for new challenges," he told me.

He said he's open to bringing his sustainability mindset to nonprofits, government or perhaps a more consumer-facing industry. Doing some quick LinkedIn research, though, it looks like he's currently working with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group as executive adviser in sustainability.

"One thing I've learned is that I can see how I can bring lessons I learned from one industry and apply them in other types of settings," he said.

Another sustainability head of a global giant has retired, with Paul Ashley departing from Mott MacDonald, a global consulting firm based in the U.K. with more than 14,000 employees. Davide Stronati has taken his place with the title "group sustainability champion." In 2010, Stronati received the Harvard Award from the Utilities & Service Industries Training for his leadership on corporate responsibility and sustainability.

In other news, business continues to ramp up at Utah-based home automation company Vivint. In an article last month, I reported in part on Vivint's high-profile hire of Matt Eyring as chief strategy and innovation officer. The booming company, which was recently bought by private equity firm Blackstone Group for $2 billion, also made another executive shift by promoting COO Alex Dunn to president. The search for a replacement COO begins immediately.

Photo of freeway sign provided by Lightspring/Shutterstock

Here are some other moves under way:

Karen Barnes, who has written plenty for GreenBiz, joins market researcher and consulting firm Market Perspectives as partner and vice president of insight. She previously worked at Shelton Group, a sustainability and energy market.

Robert (Bob) Battalio has been appointed chief engineer and vice president at environmental science and planning firm Environmental Science Associates.

American Forest & Paper Association, which promotes sustainability in the wood and paper industry, has chosen packaging company Graphic Packaging President and Chief Executive Officer David Scheible as new chairman for its 2013 board.

The former lead project developer for all of BP Biofuels' commercial projects, John Doyle, has been brought on as chief infrastructure officer at Primus Green Energy, developer of drop-in gasoline, jet fuel and aromatics from natural gas and biomass.

Dr. Elaine Dorward-King is shifting from mining behemoth Rio Tinto to another giant, Newmont Mining Corp. She'll serve as its new executive vice president of sustainability and external relations.

Advocacy group for sustainable business leadership Ceres recently announced Adele Smith Simmons will join its board of directors. Simmons currently serves a senior executive at Metropolis Strategies, an organization designed to maintain the economic competitiveness of the Chicago region, where she focuses on sustainability.

LumiGrow, which develops energy-efficient LED greenhouse lighting systems, has selected former Stanford scientist Melanie Yelton as director of research.

BK Halder has joined Astonfield, developer of renewable energy projects in India and developing nations, as vice chairman to help with the company's government affairs. Halder is no stranger to government: He previously served as chairman of the Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission, as well as joint secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs.

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