Precision heating tech company Ember announced today that it has tapped Jim Rowan to be the new CEO of Ember’s consumer division. At the same time, the company announced that Ember Founder and CEO Clay Alexander will transition to being Group CEO of Ember in addition to holding the newly created role of CEO of Ember’s healthcare division.
Prior to joining Ember, Rowan was formerly CEO of consumer electronics company Dyson.
Ember makes high-end consumer goods — the Ember Mug and Travel Mug — equipped with precision-temperature controls that keep a coffee or tea beverage at a precise, heated temperature. The mugs are certainly not cheap (the 10 oz mug is $100), but their premium pricing and high-tech nature make them similar to Dyson products, so the addition of Rowan makes a lot of sense.
Perhaps more interesting is Alexander’s new role heading up Ember’s healthcare division. During our Food Tech Live event in January of this year, Alexander talked about a cold-chain shipping product Ember is working on. As we wrote at the time:
Alexander didn’t provide many details around the forthcoming product. He said only that the cloud-connected boxes could be used to ship items at a cold temperature in a way that could be monitored and audited. He said Ember is also working on technology that makes the containers reusable.
The first application for this chilly packaging is, obviously, COVID-19 vaccines, some of which must be constantly kept at ultracold temperatures. But as Alexander explained, this technology could be used to ship anything, including fresh food, meal kits, and more. As a bonus, if the containers are reusable, that could help alleviate big waste issues (packaging, dry ice, gelpacks, etc.) in the direct to consumer market.
With Rowan taking over the consumer division and Alexander’s new focus on this healthcare division, that could indicate that the company’s cold packaging product is ramping up to go commercial, which means that it could be applied to the food world in the not too distant future.