Keith Schmid

As COO, what are your main day-to-day responsibilities? Plug Power COO Keith Schmid

As COO, my main focus, day-to-day, remains on the execution of Plug Power’s operations plan as we drive to profitability. I maintain a strong emphasis on delivering commercial solutions to stakeholders. By delivering on our promise of a commercially viable product to customers, our business grows and allows us to perform well with other stakeholders, like suppliers and investors.

What long-term impact would you like to have on Plug Power?

Plug Power has successfully secured the number-one position in the material handling fuel cell market. We’ve manufactured, shipped and deployed more hydrogen fuel cell systems than anyone else in the world. Long term, I’d like to impact the operational strategy and product cost structure bringing Plug Power into profitability. A key piece of this is influencing our expansion plans with the GenDrive product architecture by extensively evaluating adjacent markets.

Why Plug Power?

I am very excited to contribute to Plug Power’s development, as I feel I have the right skill set to help the company continue to grow. At the same time, I believe in the product and the value proposition presented to customers. The productivity increases are real, and major North American operations are benefiting every day.

Over my career, I’ve used my experience in business-to-business technology markets to drive growth through new product development, market entry, geographic expansion and acquisition, which resulted in uncovering and growing markets. There were certain trends I saw during my time scaling the power supply business. First, the technology wanted from customers changed quickly; demands from the field shifted in as little as 10 years, revolutionizing the industry. I see these customer-driven technology demands mirrored in Plug Power’s material handling customer base.

Second, the product I used to uncover and grow markets in the power supply business was available and proven. This was necessary to change the landscape of a market, and this is exactly what allows Plug Power to remain as established leaders in the fuel cell material handling space. At Plug Power, I see a foundation built on a strong value proposition and a proven technology. And, this will allow us to uncover and grow expansion markets for our fuel cell systems.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

This is a simple question for me. In ten years, I see myself here at Plug Power, enjoying immense successes with the Plug Power team, our customers and our stakeholders. Our immediate success is being seen in the material handling market, but in ten years, we’ll have expanded and realized wins with our continued technology, beyond material handling.