As Executive Chairman of H55, he brings all his experience and the network he developed during his 30 years as an entrepreneur and pilot, and most recently with Solar Impulse. Co-Leading the Solar Impulse project together, he converted the vision of a solar airplane with unlimited autonomy into a reality by building a technical team. He led the design, construction and testing of 2 Solar Impulse airplanes and managed flight missions He is best known as the CEO, co-founder and pilot of Solar Impulse: the enterprise that, under his guidance, built a plane that the aviation industry said would be impossible to make. In 2015, on the Japan-to-Hawaii leg of a round-the-world flight with the Solar Impulse 2 plane, he broke the world record for the longest solo flight in an airplane of any kind: 117 hours and 52 minutes.
A leader in pioneering technologies, he enjoys sharing his experiences as a speaker and lending his point of view on topics ranging from ‘Making the Impossible, Possible’; ‘The Pivot Point from Explorer to Leader’; to ‘From Vision to Reality’; and, ‘Turning Obstacles into Opportunities’.
Today, he is looking ahead: as a leader of the team that conceived, designed and built Solar Impulse, the first airplane able to fly day and night without any fuel.
He led the evolution of the plane’s technology into new, complex engineering solutions that will serve and transform a number of industries. These will allow the development of long endurance, high-altitude solar drones that could fly for extended periods of time (e.g., 6 months nonstop) in the stratosphere, providing measurement, observation and communication services through technology that is more flexible, sustainable and less expensive to that used in conventional satellites.
He contributes as a mentor and by driving initiatives as a member of the World Presidents’ and the Young Presidents’ Organizations and speaks frequently at leadership forums such as the World Economic Forum. He also received a Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Mons in Belgium and was decorated with the Wissam Al Alaoui distinction from the King of Morocco and the Swiss, British and French Governments’ Medal for Aeronautics.
A builder of companies and value at the edge of the known and the possible, André enjoys deep respect and loyalty from his teams for his strategic thinking and leadership. He’s valued for his ability to unite an enormous diversity of talent, personalities and expertise around a higher goal; for bringing out the full potential of all his collaborators; for his accountability, leadership and perspective in periods of high risk and misfortune; and for his investment in individuals to tap their deeper drives and achieve broader personal goals through the team’s shared mission.