Niron Magnetics Appoints Seasoned Innovative Materials Executive Jonathan Rowntree as New CEO

Jonathan Rowntree brings extensive experience in technical advanced materials and commercialization to advance Niron’s scaling and operational capabilities

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Niron Magnetics, the company pioneering the world’s first high-performance, rare earth-free permanent magnets, today announced the company has appointed Jonathan Rowntree as its new CEO. This leadership change represents a planned evolution of the company, as Niron advances from its focus on development towards scaling, commercialization, and productization of its Clean Earth Magnet® technology.

Jonathan is a seasoned executive leader with a proven track record of commercializing new-to-the-world solutions in the advanced materials space, most recently as Senior Vice President of Advanced Electronics Solutions of Rogers Corporation. Previously, Jonathan also served as Senior Vice President of the Industrial Electronics business unit at Henkel Corporation, where he led the growth of its global electronic materials business for 11 years. Earlier in his career, Jonathan worked with other companies in the new and innovative materials space such as National Starch & Chemical, where he held various leadership positions and contributed to technological development and commercialization.

“I was drawn to Niron not only by the potential of its Clean Earth Magnet technology, but also because of the talented, skilled, and growth-oriented team who are passionate about solving the global rare earths crisis with alternative materials to enable a cleaner world,” said Jonathan. “I am eager to collaborate with the rest of the Niron team to further advance our technology and make it widely available to realize the tremendous potential it has to positively impact society through its broad industrial, automotive, energy, and consumer applications.”

After more than five years leading Niron as CEO, Andy Blackburn is passing his duties to Jonathan as Niron accelerates toward commercialization of its Clean Earth Magnet technology. Andy will remain a part of the Niron team as Executive Vice President, Strategy to facilitate Jonathan’s onboarding and continue to lead the ongoing fundraising efforts, in addition to serving on the Niron Board of Directors as Vice Chair.

“During my time as CEO, I was privileged to lead the company in developing a unique technology that I believe will help usher in a more sustainable future for the magnetics industry. Jonathan is enthusiastic, shares the same vision, and has the leadership skills Niron needs to bring our Clean Earth Magnet to market,” said Andy. “I am excited to see Niron advance to this next stage, and look forward to supporting Jonathan and the team in executing Niron’s mission.”

To learn more about Niron Magnetics and its Clean Earth Magnet® technology, please visit

About Niron Magnetics

Niron Magnetics is developing the world’s first advanced manufacturing process for the mass production of permanent magnets powered by its breakthrough material formulation. Niron’s proprietary Clean Earth Magnet® technology based on Iron Nitride enables magnets that possess inherently higher magnetization, can be produced at a lower cost compared to today’s rare earth magnets, and will enable a revolution in the design of new electric motors and generators. Niron is part of many innovative design partnerships, including a U.S. Department of Energy funded project that aims to develop more cost effective and sustainable drivetrains for electric vehicles. For more information on Niron Magnetics and its technology, please visit


Brandon Reid for Niron Magnetics

Kalyn Kolek for Niron Magnetics