CdTe PV maker First Solar starts recruiting new CEO

01 May 2009 by

First Solar Inc of Phoenix, AZ, USA, which manufactures thin-film photovoltaic modules based on cadmium telluride (CdTe), has initiated an external search (led by a committee of its board of directors) for a new CEO to succeed Michael Ahearn.

As well as remaining a major shareholder, Ahearn will continue in the full-time role of executive chairman (focusing on the development of public policies needed for the global transition to low-carbon energy infrastructures).

“We are rapidly reaching the point where the evolution of the energy industry will be constrained not by technology or product costs but rather by policies, programs and institutions that cannot adapt rapidly to the innovations that are occurring in clean energy,” says Ahearn. “Given First Solar’s leadership position in the industry, I believe we are in a unique position to make a valuable contribution to those policy discussions,” he adds. “This will require virtually full-time focus from the very top of the organization.”

*For first-quarter 2009, First Solar has reported revenue of $418.2m, more than double $196.9m a year ago but down 3.5% on $433.7m last quarter (due mainly to planned annual price reductions on 1 January under long-term contracts).

Nevertheless, net income was $164.6m, up from $46.6m a year ago and $132.8m last quarter.

SolarPlaza, a leading consultancy on the global solar industry, is pleased to announce “The Solar Future” Conference to be held in Munich, Germany on May 26. For a single day, the world’s top minds will come together to discuss the future of the fastest-growing renewable energy at a critical time for the industry. Speakers will include such experts and CEO's as Bruce Sohn, President of First Solar, Dr. Shi, CEO Suntech Power, Anton Milner, CEO Q-cells, renowned analyst Travis Bradford of the Prometheus Institute; Stephen O’Rourke, analyst with Deutsche Bank Securities on Wall Street; and David Rubin, chairman of the board of directors of the Solar Electric Power Association.

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