Don Runkle is an industry executive serving as Director, Advisor and Consultant to numerous public and private companies. He brings over five decades of executive leadership across many industries and functions. Mr. Runkle’s experience spans automotive, commercial vehicles, power and energy, medical, software in Private Equity, Venture Capital, Public and Private Companies. He is currently a Director of Kensington Capital Acquisition Corporation, a Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation that recently successfully acquired and brought to the public market, QuantumScape, a revolutionary solid-state lithium metal battery company. He is also a Director of VIA Motors, an electric vehicle company. Runkle is an Advisor to Tennenbaum Capital and Holdsworth Group (both private equity), TULA Technologies (software), General Fusion (nuclear energy), ClearFlameEngines (Powertrain), University of Michigan Leadership Advisory Council, and President of Runkle Enterprises (consulting).
Runkle is the former Chairman of Ioxus (ultracapacitors), Autocam (precision machining), EaglePicher (conglomerate), and CEO of EcoMotors (Advanced engines). He was also a former Director of public and private companies including Lear Corporation (seats/electronics), WinCup (containers), Transonic Combustion (supercritical injection), Envirotest Systems (emissions testing), Outboard Marine (boats/engines), MIT’s Sloan Executive Board and the Lean Enterprise Institute. He was a former Advisor to SoarAuto (artificial intelligence), PowerGenix, and Actacell (both advanced batteries).
Runkle is a life member of the Shingo Academy, recognized for distinguished manufacturing excellence; a recipient of the Wu Manufacturing Leadership Award, as a role model for visionary and strategic thinking leaders; and the ASM Medal for the Advancement of Research. Mr. Runkle co-founded with the US-DOE the USABC, United States Advanced Battery Consortium, a key force in advancing battery technology.
Runkle co-led the Delphi Corporation IPO and its spinout from GM. He served as Delphi’s Vice-Chairman and CTO as well as having P&L responsibilities for more than half of Delphi, a $28 billion public enterprise. Prior to Delphi, Mr. Runkle had many key executive roles at GM including GM’s VP of Engineering, VP of Advanced Engineering, Director of Advance Vehicle Engineering, Chief Executive of Chevrolet, and Chief of Buick powertrain, both roles included racing. During his tenure at General Motors, his teams created countless innovations including the GM EV1 electric vehicle, the 100 mpg Ultralite concept, a Top 10 Engine, a Car of the Year, multiple high efficiency and high-performance concepts, and numerous national racing championships.
Runkle has a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, and an M.B.A. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Sloan Fellow.