Meet Mark Bula – Chief Commercial Officer at H2 Green Steel

Leveraging his many years of experience in the startup world and developing innovative steel projects, Mark Bula has from early on played a key role in the H2 Green Steel team, instrumental in developing the green steel market. As Chief Commercial Officer, Mark leads the commercial and customer team’s efforts in fundraising and investor activities.

Prior to joining the company and relocating to Sweden from the United States, Mark was Chief Strategy Officer at, a California-based tech startup involved in making the world's industrial environments safer. He was responsible for the strategic leadership of Everguard’s growth plans, and also the General Manager of the Steel industry business for its first product launch of an artificial intelligence platform. Mark’s recent experience also encompasses leadership and executive roles at UPG Enterprises LLC and Big River Steel.

“My career path has been sales, marketing, and strategy – with several leadership roles in the last number of years – and I bring those three components to what I do. Over the last number of years, I have gravitated towards startup opportunities, where a lot of it has been steel related but also early development companies,” Mark says, adding that “once you get tagged as a startup person, people tend to find you,” which also rings true for how he came to join H2 Green Steel. 

In January 2021, Harald Mix, H2 Green Steel’s chairman and co-founder, sent him a message on LinkedIn. It said that he, together with his partner Carl-Erik Lagercrantz, had just started a company called Northvolt to build lithium-ion battery plants, and that they wanted to use a similar thinking to build a green steel mill, Mark recalls. 

“It was just a blind email, because we were not connected, and I literally thought “this guy is nuts – here’s another crazy email.” But he had put down his personal mobile phone number and I thought ‘okay, I'll look and see who these guys are.’ When I saw everything about Northvolt, I called Harald the next day and he knew exactly who I was and was very personable. For the next two weeks, he and Carl-Erik invested virtual call time with me for a couple of hours a day, answering my questions, and getting to know each other,” he says and continues: 

“I had never been to Sweden, but I believed in what they were trying to create. Did I think it was going to be easy? No. Did I think that they had a lot of challenges ahead of them? Yes. Did I think I could add value in some way? Yes, because I have done it before. So, I thought, ‘You know what? I'm going to help these guys and this venture.’ And that’s why I am here.”

You have led and developed a wide range of steel projects. What is the market demand for green steel?
“Companies are now starting to put a value on carbon. I've been at H2 Green Steel, and in Sweden, for over a year and it is amazing to think of how fast things have evolved since we made our announcement last February. The demand for green steel has certainly surpassed my expectations, proving to be beyond just automotive, which we first thought was going to be the key marketplace for us. But construction is just as strong of a demand category for us together with other categories such as white goods. Believe it or not, nobody even debates if there should be a price premium for green steel anymore. Many buyers and customers have come to a point where they accept that there is going to be a higher price for green steel, and I would say that the Nordics are leading the way because there is a much heavier emphasis on personal commitment to nature and sustainability.  And the emphasis on science-based targets company commitments is most evident in the European Union’s largest steel demand market, German OEMs.”

What are you looking forward to the most with the Boden plant?
“The very first thing that comes to mind is those working at this company who has never walked through a steel mill, but are now trying to get to build one. To see the smile on their faces the first time they see our electric arc furnace operating, and feel the power in there melting scrap and DRI. I've had the opportunity to see it before and it is the most amazing and exciting experience, knowing that you were a part of making it happen.”

Finally, what is your favorite thing about working at H2 Green Steel?
“This company is combining a lot of things that I've been working on over the last years. Being a part of this very visionary project is a really cool thing, unlike anything I have experienced before. H2 Green Steel will use digitalization and artificial intelligence to not only improve efficiencies and effectiveness, but really change the world and the way businesses are run from a sustainable standpoint – and that’s what attracted me to it,” he says and concludes:

“Working with a greenfield project of this scale is not always rainbows and unicorns, but we pick each other up and keep going. That's why I love startups, and that's why I love this company.”