In the 16 years since its founding, Toronto-based thermostat company Ecobee has helped customers save over 28 terawatts of energy—enough to take all the homes in Los Angeles and Chicago off the grid for a year.
Now, the firm’s founding CEO and president, Stuart Lombard, has made the decision to retire, effective November 10. Lombard did not provide additional reasoning behind the decision beyond spending time with his family, but the outgoing CEO said he is leaving the company in capable hands.
Lombard led Ecobee to acquisition in 2021 by Generac Power Systems in a deal valued up to $770 million USD, along with a team that includes chief product officer Greg Fyke, who is now Ecobee’s incoming president.
“The business is performing at a record pace and I have tremendous confidence in the leadership team.”
Fyke said that he is both humbled and excited to undertake the role of president of Ecobee. “Stuart and his mission to ‘improve everyday life while creating a more sustainable world’ continue to be an inspiration for me and are key reasons that influenced my decision to join Ecobee,” Fyke said in a statement.
“It is a rare opportunity to be a part of such a talented team that not only does great work, but also work that has great purpose,” Fyke added. “What we do matters—to our employees, to our customers and to our planet. I am incredibly thankful to Stuart and the broader leadership team at Generac for this opportunity. I look forward to the future, realizing our shared vision and the value that it will ultimately deliver to our customers.”
Lombard founded Ecobee in 2007 and launched the world’s first smart thermostat in 2008. Since then, the company has introduced its flagship Smart Thermostat Premium, and expanded into Smart Security in 2020. Most recently, Ecobee launched a Smart Doorbell Camera, rivaling the likes of Ring (or Nest, according to The Verge).
Lombard’s departure comes almost two years following Ecobee’s acquisition. For the first time in 16 years, he does not have any immediate plans, Lombard said.
“I don’t know if there is ever a perfect time to retire,” Lombard said in a statement sent to BetaKit. “Having said that, I believe the integration with Generac and our combined strategy in energy and connected home[s] position Ecobee and Generac to excel in creating a future world where energy is clean, inexpensive and plentiful. The business is performing at a record pace and I have tremendous confidence in the leadership team.”
“For all these reasons, I believe that now is the right time for me to pass the torch to Greg Fyke and the very capable executive leadership team,” Lombard added.
Ecobee describes Fyke as a business leader and technologist with over 20 years of experience in the smart home and Internet of Things markets, spanning semiconductors, connected devices, mobile apps, and cloud services. Prior to Ecobee, he led product, engineering, and business growth at companies such as Silicon Labs and Amazon. Fyke grew up in Canada and graduated from the University of Waterloo.
Kevin Banderk, senior vice president of marketing at Generac Energy Technology and chief marketing officer at Ecobee, has also been promoted to lead marketing on the Energy Technology organization led by Generac’s president of Energy Technology, Norm Taffe. Banderk will remain CMO at Ecobee.
Banderk called Lombard’s impact on the industry and the environment profound. “With this new role, it’s my responsibility to build on the foundation that Stuart has created and to bring forward the promise of the combination of Ecobee and Generac.”
Banderk joined Ecobee in October 2019, where he led a rebrand of Ecobee and facilitated the acquisition by Generac. He also supported the launch of multiple new products, including Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium, which was chosen as one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2022, and the new Ecobee Smart Doorbell Camera.
“What started with a meeting at a pizzeria in Brantford, Ontario, and riding in trucks with HVAC pros, has become a world-class company, with world-class products and services and operations, that has partnered and competed with the likes of Apple, Amazon, and Google,” Lombard told BetaKit.
“The road ahead is an exciting one: delivering a home that is comfortable, safe, resilient, and net zero should be one of the crowning achievements of our time,” he continued. “A shift from a world where energy is expensive, dirty, and scarce to one where energy is clean, cheap, and plentiful. The connected home will play an important role in not only conserving and intelligently using energy, but also helping to generate and store it as well. That is an exciting future, which is worth investing our time and effort in. That future we are building will lead to great dividends for humanity and the planet.”
Feature image of Stuart Lombard courtesy of Ecobee.