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Hyperloop One Taps Former Uber, Google Executive as CFO

Hyperloop One is building a prototype of its high-speed transport system in Nevada.Hyperloop One is building a prototype of its high-speed transport system in Nevada.
Hyperloop One is building a prototype of its high-speed transport system in Nevada.Courtesy Hyperloop One

Hyperloop One has hired Uber’s former chief financial officer as it tries to raise the billions of dollars needed to develop a futuristic transportation system that will propel passengers at hundreds of miles an hour in small pods.

Brent Callinicos will take over the startup’s daily operations and oversee its balance sheet. Callinicos joined Hyperloop One in October as a strategic adviser to CEO Rob Lloyd and its board of directors to help develop funding and revenue models for the startup.

Callinicos will now oversee Hyperloop One’s fund-raising, growth-planning, acquisitions, and investment opportunities, the company said. He will also help Hyperloop One in its Series C round of financing this year as the startup aims to double in size. Eventually, the company will need to raises billions of dollars in project financing to build the Hyperloop.

In 2013, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk shared his idea of placing people and things in pods and hurtling them through a low-pressure tube at speeds in excess of 750 miles per hour in a system he called Hyperloop. He challenged others to pursue and potentially develop the concept.

Hyperloop One was among the first to jump at the idea. After gaining momentum—including raising $80 million in a Series B round and landing several development partners—the company was thrust into a legal battle with its departed co-founder and three other employees who sued it for breach of contract and other alleged wrongdoing. A settlement was reached in November 2016.

With the lawsuit now resolved, Hyperloop One now faces the sizable challenge of funding its futuristic transport system that has yet to be tested or built to scale. Hyperloop One announced in January that it would conduct a test of its full system within three months. The company did complete a successful test of its propulsion system in May 2016.

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Callinicos has been in this position before. He was the CFO at Uber for two years and treasurer and chief accountant at Google from 2007 to 2013. Callinicos also held various positions at Microsoft from 1992 until joining Google.

Callinicos also sits on the boards of Baidu, PVH, and Rubicon Global.