Sam Paschel CEO
Even though Sam’s parents took away his dirt bike when he was 8 years old for laying it down in some gravel, his passion for motorcycles only grew. To that end, Sam joined Zero to change global transportation as we know it by propelling the world’s best electric motorcycles to the forefront of every rider’s mind.
As a skilled leader and innovative brand builder, Sam has over 20 years of industry experience with top consumer brands such as Skullcandy, Burton Snowboards, and Giro Sport Design. While working at Burton and Giro, Sam held a wide range of management and leadership positions in marketing, engineering, and product development, driving each business to new levels of innovation and profitability. Most recently, Sam served as the Chief Commercial Officer for Skullcandy, where he oversaw product development, marketing, and commercial activities.
He is a graduate of Swarthmore College with a BS in engineering, and can be found on a Zero carving the Northern California switchbacks he loves when not at his desk.
Abe Askenazi CTO
Abe is a passionate engineer and motorcyclist who did his Master’s Thesis on “The Dynamics of Motorcycles.” Abe worked at Buell Motorcycle Co. for 15 years, where he rose to the position of Sr. Director of Analysis, Test and Engineering Process, reporting to Erik Buell and actively participating in Harley-Davidson Inc.’s Senior Leadership Group. He provided increasing levels of leadership to multi-functional teams in the delivery of 26 high performance motorcycle models across four different platforms, resulting in the production of over 130k vehicles yielding over $1B in sales.
In 2010, Abe was recruited by Zero Motorcycles as VP of Engineering to head the development and product management of a full line of industry‑leading, on- and off-road electric Motorcycles. In 2011, Abe was promoted to the role of Chief Technology Officer and led his team in delivering the first mass-produced electric motorcycles capable of exceeding 100 miles on a single charge, with batteries that last up to 300,000 miles, and with powertrains that are completely maintenance-free.
Abe has numerous patents for motorcycle components and has published a textbook and multiple articles on analytical engineering.
Jay Friedland VP of Strategy and Sustainability
Working with Congress as well as consumers, industry, and environmental leaders, Jay helped drive the inclusion of over $14B in US government funding for plug-in vehicles, including the 10% US Federal Tax Credit for electric motorcycles, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Jay also serves as the Legislative Director of Plug In America, advocating for policy which broadly supports electric and plug-in vehicles. A self-described serial entrepreneur, he has built successful companies as well as developing key industry alliances between companies both large and small.
Mac McMath VP of Global Sales
Mac is a powersports industry specialist with a combination of retail and wholesale experience, covering more than 30 years and spanning three continents. Starting in retail in the 1980s, Mac introduced and developed premium apparel brands for exclusive distribution in the United Kingdom before joining Triumph Motorcycles in Hinckley to launch their global apparel and merchandising program.
After spells managing sales and dealer development at Harley-Davidson and BMW Motorrad UK, Mac spent four years as General Manager for BMW Motorrad Australia and New Zealand before packing his bags and heading to the US in 2007 to lead sales at BMW Motorrad USA.
As a recent convert to electric power, Mac is excited to join Zero Motorcycles and looking forward to developing the sales and distribution network together with the team and retail partners.
Curt Sacks CFO
Curt comes to Zero Motorcycles having previously served as Chief Financial Officer for both GigOptix, Inc. and Endwave Corporation. He has over 20 years of progressive financial and management experience working both at public and private companies and with large established corporations and smaller-scale operations in their rapid growth phases. Curt’s experience in leading the development and implementation of processes in dynamic environments is well-suited for Zero Motorcycles’ tremendous global opportunities. He is focused upon building and leading a world class Finance and Administrative team.
Umberto Uccelli Managing Director, Europe
Umberto leads all of Zero Motorcycles’ European operations. With a career spanning over 20 years with some of motorcycling’s most iconic brands, he brings valuable expertise in sales, marketing and international expansion. Uccelli’s motorcycle industry knowledge, passion for the sport and pioneering vision fuel Zero’s continued growth in the vital European market. “I’m inspired by the opportunity to apply my experience with traditional motorcycles to help build the future of motorcycling,” Umberto said. “Zero’s technology is exciting, the bikes are thrilling to ride and the team is very strong.”
Brian Wismann VP of Product Development
Brian joins Zero Motorcycles with an extensive background in design, product development, and electric vehicle technologies. As Director of Product Development and an industrial designer for Brammo, Inc., Brian spearheaded development of the Brammo Enertia and Empulse electric motorcycles. In 2015, Brian was selected by Victory Motorcycles to lead their first-ever international racing effort at the Isle of Man TT. He followed this success with two class wins for Victory at the 2016 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. With enthusiasm for electric vehicles, emphasis on project management and processes, and a passion for performance, Brian ensures that every Zero product is designed and engineered with our customer in mind.
Joe Wismann VP of Operations
Joe’s passion for electric vehicles and extensive experience in manufacturing make him a great contributor to Zero’s business and culture. Following a highly successful career as a senior military leader, Joe spent almost a decade managing aviation modification. He then moved on to manufacturing high performance racecars. Later, while leading Quality, Procurement and Assembly Operations for lithium-ion batteries and electric motorcycles at Brammo, Joe built his own electric vehicle. As a Six Sigma and Lean processes expert, Joe brings a high level of organization and continuous improvement to Zero’s assembly and logistics operations. These techniques are now a key part of the fabric of Zero’s operational excellence.