Jennifer McFarlane

Chief Financial Officer

NEXTracker’s advanced technology is an increasingly sought-after solution to meet the need for high-performance quality products that ensure PV power plant owners and investors maximum performance and profitability. As NEXTracker rapidly grows, Jennifer will help bring us to the next level.”

Dan Shugar
CEO, NEXTracker

Jennifer McFarlane joins the NEXTracker executive leadership team as Chief Financial Officer. As a seasoned Senior Finance Executive of several U.S venture-backed companies, as well as a public Australian company, Southern Pacific Petroleum (SPP), Jennifer’s leadership has been integral to the success of multiple organizations.  Working as an investment banker, she’s raised more than $600M in capital and spearheaded more than 15 mergers and acquisitions. Ms. McFarlane has worked in Australia, the U.S. and Eastern Europe – and has flexed her global expertise tackling assignments worldwide including the EU, China, South East Asia and Africa.  

Reflecting her distinctive international career, Jennifer has been a member of the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations for two decades. In her many roles, she’s honed an incredibly diverse range of talents and skills – demonstrating great success in developing strategic plans, launching innovative business models, securing strategic partnerships, and implementing systems to support rapid global growth. Jennifer earned her MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, and her Bachelor’s in Biochemistry and Organic Chemistry, as well as her Bachelor’s of Laws, from the University of New South Wales. Building on her prior role as a Board Member of ASX listed/NASDAQ company, Jennifer has joined several boards and continues as an advisor to global clean-tech and social impact companies.

Jennifer McFarlane’s NEXTracker story

Ms. McFarlane comes to NEXTracker thanks to her long-time interest in environmental sustainability and clean technology. For years, she’s been intrigued by the possibilities afforded by engaging global financial institutions, manufacturing and venture capital in the effort to combat climate change. Consequently, the career path she’s embarked upon – working in the private, NGO and social impact sectors – involve assignments that relate to technologies that reduce our carbon footprint.

It all started in 1998, when Jennifer moved into her first executive and board level role following a decade in global investment banking. Jennifer returned to Australia to join Southern Pacific Petroleum, a public company which was scaling a technology to produce oil from mining of oil shale. The company was aiming to follow in the footsteps of a similar fast-growing industry – the Canadian oil sands. Oil from shale mining, however, also shared one of its disadvantages – it is inevitably greenhouse-gas intensive. Concerned about the environmental impact of the technology at scale, she took on an additional role within SPP to lead the development of the company’s first sustainability strategy – and found herself responding to the efforts of Greenpeace to stop all oil shale development in Australia. It was in this journey that she became determined to devote her efforts to commercializing technology could be used as a positive for the environment in both developing clean energy and water.

In early 2000’s, Jennifer returned to the Bay Area and took an opportunity to serve as CEO of Astia, a non-profit global community of experts committed to spurring the success of world class, women-led startup ups. It was her first all-encompassing experience in which she successfully engineered a turnaround and rebranded the organization, providing a platform for subsequent global growth.

In 2007, fascinated in the potential of the fast growing solar industry, Jennifer decided to take the plunge. “At the time, there was clearly over investment in solar technology start-ups by VCs and I knew there was going to be a shakeout. Having gone through a large technology scale up at SPP, I saw the challenges of scaling were being woefully underestimated by VCs.”  

Entry into solar development was the best approach – it would provide insights of the ultimate customer as well as a view into the whole value chain. Joining the developer, CleanSource Power, Jennifer helped to pioneer the development of sponsorship-enhanced Power Purchase Agreements which further reduced the cost of solar electricity. Seeking additional growth, Jennifer co-led the sale of the company to another development firm, CleanSpot Energy. In her new role, she expanded the deployment of large commercial projects to wastewater treatment plants and public schools, and secured solar project financing at highly favorable rates.

Now firmly rooted in clean-tech soil, Jennifer was recruited as CFO at LanzaTech, a venture-backed revolutionary carbon recycling company that uses patented microbes to convert industrial waste gas streams into fuels and chemicals – which tied back to her undergraduate work in biochemistry. “Developing low carbon aviation fuels and chemicals is absolutely essential to achieving the 2025 GHG emissions targets from the 2015 Paris climate accord. And its personal – over 30% of my GHG footprint is due to flying around the world.” While at LanzaTech, Jennifer navigated the intricacies of rapidly expanding a new technology across the globe through the company’s first projects with industrial partners in China and India as well as in the US.

Preferring to remain in the heart of Silicon Valley rather than move with LanzaTech, Jennifer assumed the role of CFO at Zyomyx, a venture backed company that had developed a patented technology to enable instrument quality diagnostics in a low cost disposable cartridge. Its first product was a rapid, point of care test for HIV/AIDs treatment focused on Africa.  At Zyomyx, she secured a pivotal strategic partnership with a Fortune 500 company, helped to scale a first-of-a-kind manufacturing line and provided strategic direction for growth and future products. Her responsibilities encompassed both finance and human resources as well as IT.   

In the two years prior to NEXTracker, as a principal of the consulting firm Asterra, Jennifer has served as board member and advisor on strategy, business models, strategic partnerships, and fundraising strategies. Focused on clean tech and impact companies, her clients have included an Australian solar technology company, an African cook stove company, US SaaS technology firm focused on agricultural water efficiency and an Australian water treatment technology company.

Jennifer McFarlane is thrilled with her new position at NEXTracker, where she will undoubted make vast contributions to advancing the power plant of the future.

NEXTracker’s advanced technology is an increasingly sought-after solution to meet the need for high-performance quality products that ensure PV power plant owners and investors maximum performance and profitability. As NEXTracker rapidly grows, Jennifer will help bring us to the next level.”

Dan Shugar
CEO, NEXTracker

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