Peter Gross is a founding member of iMasons Advisory Council. He is the co-founder and the former CEO and CTO of EYP Mission Critical Facilities. He was also a Vice-President at Hewlett Packard and Bloom Energy. He is presently a board member of several technology companies, and a consultant, advisor and investor.
Did you choose this industry, or did it choose you?
I would say that this industry chose me even though my educational background in power electronics was well suited for this profession. I have to start by saying that for me, this was a long and winding road but fulfilling and satisfying. I’ve seen it all, from the 400Hz IBM mainframe to the client-server environment, the Internet, and the cloud. My journey started in the 80s, designing UPS systems. This was my first exposure to data centers. The next phase was a small consulting firm that specialized in assisting major banks and financial institutions on their critical support infrastructure systems. Towards the end of the last century, I co-founded EYP Mission Critical Facilities. I lived, thrived and survived the crazy days of the dot-com extraordinary growth and the nuclear winter of the dot-com bust. Some of the most creative design concepts, that are very much in use today, were developed then.
The data center business came back to life in the mid-2000 and EYP grew further to become the largest and I dare to say, the most recognized engineering firm specialized in the design and operation of mission critical environments. After its successful run, HP acquired the firm in 2008 and I became the managing partner of their consulting business. Here, among other responsibilities, I started to focus on sustainability and energy efficiency. I also got a lot more involved in the process of bridging the gap between IT and facilities as well as understanding the trends reshaping this industry, identifying new, innovating technologies and solutions. That was one of the reasons I joined Bloom Energy, one of the most transformational companies I have ever known. At Bloom, I could concentrate on what mostly interests me today: the intersection of energy and technology.
Why did you get involved with iMasons?
I jumped at the opportunity to join the iMasons Advisory Council as soon as Dean Nelson introduced me to the idea. I always felt that our industry lacks a common voice, a forum that can aggregate and unify the interests and the aspirations of the many professionals that are the builders of the digital infrastructure. I always felt that iMasons was a platform that allowed me to give back to the industry that has given me so many opportunities to grow professionally and to make so many friends.