George Clooney to become manager of new Swiss company for clean energy.

George Clooney will become an executive board member of a new Swiss energy company that will develop environmentally friendly techniques for car motors and other devices, the billionaire who is setting up the firm said Saturday.

The new company will have different branches doing research and development in the clean production of hydrogen, solar energy and fuel cells, said Nicolas Hayek, chairman of the Swatch Group.

"First I hesitated between Al Gore and Clooney," Hayek said in an interview with daily Berner Zeitung.

But he didn't ask the former vice president because it was still unclear whether Gore would run for president and therefore might have accepted the post as a mere public relations exercise, Hayek said.

Clooney will sit on the board alongside Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier and others, Hayek said.

Clooney's spokesman, Stan Rosenfield, confirmed the report in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Hayek, who chairs the executive board of Swatch Group AG, the world's largest watchmaker, said he will also preside over the board of the new company, which will be based in the western Swiss city of Biel.

He did not say when the new company, which has yet to be named, will be launched.