Today’s guest, Brian Janous, is the former VP of Energy at Microsoft. In fact, he was their first every energy hire back in 2011. Until his departure earlier this year, Brian oversaw energy strategy and sourcing for all of Microsoft’s cloud and AI infrastructure, including procuring renewable energy for the company to meet its carbon objectives.
Since the earliest days of his career, Brian has sought to answer the question, “How do we build markets around the complex machine of the electric grid to drive behaviors that shift the future?” As you’ll hear, Microsoft gave him the opportunity to do just that.
When Brian joined the company in 2011, Microsoft’s market cap was north of $218 Billion. Today its market cap has skyrocketed to over $2.7 trillion, thanks in no small part to its ability to acquire energy, refine it into data, and use that data to fuel the creation of value in the cloud.
In this episode, Brian and Chris talk about:
- The power of storytelling in building the world’s largest machine
- Why the future of energy innovation must be informed by the past and grounded in the present
- The breakthrough that converted Microsoft’s CEO at the time, Steve Ballmer, into a true believer in Brian’s and his team’s vision for the future of energy
- The importance of having an enduring narrative that drives your strategy forward
And much more!
Brian Janous is an independent advisor and former Microsoft VP of Energy. While at Microsoft, Brian was responsible for leading the development and execution of the company’s global data center energy strategy, including oversight of all energy supply agreements, renewable energy purchasing, distributed generation, and strategic partnerships to ensure a power supply that is reliable and sustainable. Brian joined Microsoft in 2011 after 12 years in the energy industry, where he worked as a senior consultant at Brubaker & Associates, assisting Fortune 500 companies with energy procurement, policy, and sustainability matters. Brian holds an MBA from Webster University, a bachelor’s of science in finance from the University of Missouri, and a bachelor’s of arts in philosophy from the University of Missouri.
- “As the world goes digital, datacenters that make the cloud work look to renewable energy sources” by Chris Welsch (Microsoft)
- “Exploring the Big Challenge Ahead: Insights on the Path to a Net-Zero Power Sector by 2035” by Madeline Geocaris (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)
- “Who Made America? | Innovators | Samuel Insull”(PBS.org)