Monday, October 18

The CEO of Clean Energy Fuels took to Reddit to talk with fans of the meme stock, continuing a trend of execs talking directly to retail investors

Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

  • Clean Energy Fuels CEO Andrew Littlefair held an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit Monday.
  • In reaching out to retail traders, Littlefair followed the example of other meme stocks like AMC.
  • “I’ve really grown to appreciate this community,” Littlefair said on Reddit.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Clean Energy Fuels CEO Andrew Littlefair this week followed the lead of a handful of executives whose companies have been celebrated as “meme stocks”-he reached out directly to retail investors.

In a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” Monday, Littlefair answered retail investor questions on the company’s pipeline, supply chain, and its challenges. He even revealed he’s the owner of an English Springer pup.

“I’ve really grown to appreciate this community,” Littlefair said in the opening Reddit post. “I read many of your posts and it’s obvious that you do your homework. You understand that the transportation sector is going through a significant shift and Clean Energy and our renewable natural gas is playing a big role in addressing climate issues.”

Newport Beach, California-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp., which Littlefair cofounded in 1997, supplies compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and renewable natural gas as an alternative fuel for vehicles, according to PitchBook data. The company, worth nearly $2 billion , has become a meme stock this year amid the craze sparked by the epic rally in GameStop shares in January.

One Redditor asked Littlefair what he thinks “is the biggest hurdle CLNE (and the renewable natural gas industry as a whole) has to overcome in order to be widely accepted as the fastest, and most effective way to reduce carbon emissions in the transportation industry? “

To which Littlefair replied that customers are most excited about renewable natural gas, more commonly referred to as RNG. “I do not think there are really any significant hurdles, the industry needs more supply and it is coming on fast. Never have we seen such project growth as we are seeing currently,” he said.

In reaching out to individual investors, Littlefair followed in the footsteps of other CEOs looking to get in front of their fans in the retail trader community on places like Wall Street Bets.

AMC CEO Adam Aron, whom retail investors have dubbed “Silverback,” was among the first to appeal to the large number of retail traders cheering on the stock. He went on YouTube channel Tray’s Trades to address the horde of investors, interacted directly with them on Twitter, and even offered them movie theater perks.

Robinhood, which went public in July, tried to appeal to retail traders by allowing them to get in on the app’s IPO, and aslo took questions from individual investors during the company’s earnings call. The CEO of a food technology company, meanwhile, reached out to potential retail investors on the r/SPACs channel on Reddit to ask them for their insight ahead of a merger with a blank-check firm.

In June, the CEO of meme stock Palantir, a data-mining company, nodded to retail traders on earnings calls, saying the company is favored among the group because it respects the intelligence of the retail investing community.

In a tweet following the AMA, Littlefair said he had a “great time” and said the retail investors are a smart group.

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