Top Execs to Watch in 2024: Battelle’s Lou Von Thaer

Photo: Headshot of Lou Von Thaer

Lou Von Thaer

President & CEO, Battelle

Lou Von Thaer said his biggest recent achievement was developing and deploying a new business model to accelerate the deployment of breakthrough technologies to the marketplace. Battelle launched three new companies, AmplifyBio, Revive Environmental and Allonnia. Revive, the most recent, was built on a foundation of Battelle technology that destroys and removes PFAS contaminants. It was No. 5 on Fortune’s “Change the World” list.

“As a trained engineer, I really didn’t understand the importance of culture to an organization early in my career,” he said. “In the second half of my career, I’ve learned how culture trumps everything – a strong culture drives the right discussions and self-corrects problems over time. Weak cultures use fear to control the organization, with leaders never knowing what’s really happening until it is too late. Our biggest and continuing investment at Battelle since I started 6 years ago has been around culture and the payoff is clearly seen in our results. I am also proud of Battelle’s impact on our communities, driven by our growing success. In 2023 we impacted 1.76M students in STEM across the US and will open a new school in Columbus, Ohio, at the end of this year.”

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