Published on August 23rd, 2013 | by Joshua S Hill0
Struggling Vestas Wind Systems Replaces CEO & President
Vestas Wind Systems announced on Wednesday that it will be replacing long-standing CEO and President Ditlev Engel, who over his eight years at the helm saw the company into and out of a massive financial slump that saw the company’s shares drop precipitously close to valueless.
Stepping in to the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Group President is Anders Runevad, who previously served as President of Region West & Central Europe for Swedish Ericsson, as well as serving as a member of their executive team.
“Following the recent measures taken, it is now the appropriate time to make this change,” said Chairman of the Board of Directors of Vestas Wind Systems A/S, Bert Nordberg. ”The company is now entering a new phase, where we want to realise our growth potential, and I am confident that Mr Runevad has the right experience to lead the company going forward. The restructuring programme has resulted in a more competitive company and we thank Mr Engel for his leadership over the past eight years.”
Vestas noted that “Ditlev Engel has been with the company since 2005 and has during the past 1½ years focused his efforts on leading Vestas’ extensive restructuring programme,” a necessary task taken in the face of a multi-year financial slump. After record high share prices in 2008, the company saw a continual decline over the following four years, sparking the massive restructuring programme.
While share prices have begun to steadily increase, Vestas is still struggling, suffering eight quarters of losses, seeing a 33% decline in second quarter earnings amounting to a net loss of €62 million, compared to an €8 million loss the same time last year. Vestas has just over four months to complete its 2 year restructuring programme, lowering fixed costs by €400 million and implementing a 30% cut to its staff of 16,000.
“I am delighted to be joining Vestas and look forward to leading the company in its next phase of development,” says Runevad. ”I believe that my career has equipped me with the right tools to take on this task.”
And while is pedigree in the telecom industry is impressive, one wonders whether Runevad has the chops to drag Vestas out of its current slump, amidst a fluctuating industry already set to be contracting over the next 18 months.