Leading thin-film (CdTe) producer First Solar reported lower first quarter 2016 sales sales than expected, while announcing a planned CEO change that underscores a new business model and cycle ahead.
As detailed at its annual analyst day event, First Solar is shifting emphasis back to module sales as part of a mid-term business plan that takes advantage of its restored cost per-watt advantage and two new module products to be introduced in the coming years that further its competitive position.
The intention is to increase module sales on a far broader international base, such as India, Japan, South East Asia and Latin America, while being less concentrated on PV power plant construction, notably in the US.
Accompanying the release of first quarter 2016 financial results, First Solar said that its current CEO, James A. Hughes would step down and current CFO, Mark R. Widmar would become the new CEO.
“Leadership succession planning has been a joint effort between Jim and the board,” said Michael J. Ahearn, First Solar’s chairman of the board. “As we enter a new phase of growth and development for the company, we believe that Mark’s proven leadership and expertise make this an ideal time for him to take the helm. Under Jim’s astute guidance, First Solar achieved the strongest technology position in our history, with record bookings of new business and unparalleled financial strength in the industry. We are grateful for Jim’s many contributions to First Solar, and we look forward to benefiting from his continued involvement as an advisor and director.”
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