After Norwegian merger, Friedland moves on from Proton OnSite

After Norwegian merger, Friedland moves on from Proton OnSite

After Norwegian merger, Friedland moves on from Proton OnSite

(Hartford Business Journal, 10/16/17)

The longtime leader of a key player in the state’s fuel cell ecosystem is moving on from the Wallingford company he helped found 22 years ago.

Robert Friedland, who has led Proton Onsite as president and CEO since 2008, worked his last day at the company on Sept. 29.

Proton, which makes high-tech membranes used in machines that generate hydrogen, was acquired by Norway’s NEL ASA in a $70 million deal that closed at the end of June.

Friedland said in a recent interview that he had discussed a new role with NEL’s leadership, but ultimately decided to strike out on his own.

“I looked at it and said ‘I’ve brought this company to a pretty good place and I think it’s time for me to turn the page and kind of see what else is out there,’ ” Friedland said. “It’s a good thing going out on my terms and I think it’s the right time and I think the new guys that own us are going to do a good job.”

One of those new guys is Anders Soreng, NEL’s chief technology officer, who is now living in Connecticut and running the Wallingford operation.

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