Chief Operating Offier
Location: Cook County
Year Founded: 2005
Industry Group Specific: Climate Technology
Carl Wolf began his career in cleantech consulting and always wanted to see and feel his impact more. He was able to find this at LanzaTech in 2011, when he joined the U.S. office as one of the early employees.
“I’ve been at the forefront of almost every area of the company since I joined, with the fortune to wear many hats,” said Wolf. From technical project management, government relations, licensing, M&A and corporate development to operations and human resources. He now serves as the chief operating officer.
LanzaTech began as a small startup company based in New Zealand 10 years ago and is now a global climate tech company headquartered in Chicago with more than 400 employees. In the last three years, LanzaTech has started up five new commercial-scale carbon recycling plants across three countries for a total CO2 abatement capacity of 500,00 tonnes annually. In February 2023, the company became the first public carbon capture and utilization company with a market cap of $2 billion.
“From the various fundraises and commercial deals, going public and the various projects and initiatives in between, I’ve been able to bring the team together to help achieve what many would have considered impossible not too long ago,” said Wolf.
According to Wolf, he has maintained a focus on values and integrity, treating external customers and internal colleagues with the utmost respect. “The company has grown from a laboratory curiosity to a 400+ person global company with nine offices and plants all over the globe,” he said. “Not only this, but the company has the potential to do real good for the environment and the world.”
Wolf said that the company’s ability to utilize waste carbon enables it to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, keep carbon in the ground and increase the changes of the world meeting its collective climate goals.
“In my business training at Northwestern, I was taught to operate as a high impact low ego leader,” said Wolf. “I constantly try not to lose sight of this, both for myself and the company.”
His staff sees Wolf as a selfless, high character and inspirational leader. “Carl’s biggest accomplishment is that he makes the people around him not only better at their job, but better people,” they said. “He is always putting his team and partners before himself and is able to get the most out of others.”
Wolf credits his leadership abilities to the many mentors throughout his life and career, starting with his parents and coaches to the LanzaTech CEO. “These people have taught me that authentic leadership, relationship building and leading with empathy are qualities that motivate and encourage teams to mobilize around a common cause and tackle seemingly impossible challenges.”
For leading with empathy and motivating others to combat climate change, Wolf has been named a titan.
Leading with empathy.