moving on

Nonprofit leader to step down, focus on expanding Houston's hydrogen economy

Brett Perlman has been with the Center for Houston’s Future for seven years. Photo via LinkedIn

The leader of a local organization that supports strategic initiatives in energy, health care, and immigration has announced his succession plans.

Brett Perlman, CEO of the Center for Houston’s Future, wrote in a letter to the community, that he will be stepping down once a replacement has been named.

"I believe that our clean hydrogen project has now grown to the point where it requires my full time attention to achieve the vision of making Houston a global clean hydrogen leader," he writes.

"I would like to now focus my attention on creating a broad-based clean hydrogen industry network, on working to make sure our efforts lift all segments of our community and on seeking to attract more private investment to this sector," he continues in the letter. "These are big challenges and it will take a singular effort to achieve these goals."

The Center for Houston's Future has been an integral part of the city's momentum within clean hydrogen development. In October, President Biden and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm named the seven regions to receive funding, including the Gulf Coast's project, HyVelocity Hydrogen Hub, which will receive up to $1.2 billion — the most any hub will receive.

Perlman, who has been with the organization for seven years, writes that the center is ready for its next leader as it prepares to launch its new Houston 2050 project, which is intended to create "a new vision for a thriving and diverse region and which will build on a number of positive trends and projects in the region."

"I believe that the work we’ve done at the Center on the economic future of the Houston region will inspire a new civic leader to step forward with a fresh vision for how the Center can contribute to that future," Perlman writes.

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A View From HETI

Chinese officials told Tesla that Beijing has tentatively approved the automaker's plan to launch its “Full Self-Driving,” or FSD, software feature in the country. Photo via

Shares of Tesla stock rallied Monday after the electric vehicle maker's CEO, Elon Musk, paid a surprise visit to Beijing over the weekend and reportedly won tentative approval for its driving software.

Musk met with a senior government official in the Chinese capital Sunday, just as the nation’s carmakers are showing off their latest electric vehicle models at the Beijing auto show.

According to The Wall Street Journal, which cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter, Chinese officials told Tesla that Beijing has tentatively approved the automaker's plan to launch its “Full Self-Driving,” or FSD, software feature in the country.

Although it's called FSD, the software still requires human supervision. On Friday the U.S. government’s auto safety agency said it is investigating whether last year’s recall of Tesla’s Autopilot driving system did enough to make sure drivers pay attention to the road. Tesla has reported 20 more crashes involving Autopilot since the recall, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In afternoon trading, shares in Tesla Inc., which is based in Austin, Texas, surged to end Monday up more than 15% — its biggest one-day jump since February 2020. For the year to date, shares are still down 22%.

Tesla has been contending with its stock slide and slowing production. Last week, the company said its first-quarter net income plunged by more than half, but it touted a newer, cheaper car and a fully autonomous robotaxi as catalysts for future growth.

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives called the news about the Chinese approval a “home run” for Tesla and maintained his “Outperform” rating on the stock.

“We note Tesla has stored all data collected by its Chinese fleet in Shanghai since 2021 as required by regulators in Beijing,” Ives wrote in a note to investors. “If Musk is able to obtain approval from Beijing to transfer data collected in China abroad this would be pivotal around the acceleration of training its algorithms for its autonomous technology globally.”

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