When SunEdison went through difficult layoffs in October 2015, hundreds were let go -- but the folks in the C-suite were mostly left unscathed. As GTM's Stephen Lacey reported, "The cuts have reached all the way to the VP level, but not the executive level. Sources within the company expressed worry and surprise that the cuts didn't impact the architects of the Vivint acquisition."
The other shoe has started to drop.
- According to Julien Dumoulin-Smith at UBS, Steve Tesoriere, "an activist investor [who] played a key role in developing SunEdison’s YieldCo strategy," has resigned from the solar and wind developer's board. Tesoriere's Altai Capital Management owns approximately 2.3 percent of SunEdison, according to a proxy filing. UBS notes, "Tesoriere was also one of four to resign as a board member of SunEdison YieldCo TerraForm Power in November 2015."
- SunEdison COO Francisco “Pancho” Perez Gundin left the company last week.
- According to UBS, Paul Gaynor (former First Wind CEO) has also departed, although this was not disclosed in the 8K filing. "Given Paul's former role as CEO of First Wind, we continue to perceive growing risk to execution on guided targets, particularly on wind backlog," reported UBS.
Northern States Metals, a maker of extruded aluminum products and owner of Solar FlexRack, a ground-mount solar racking system supplier, named Jeff Gwinnell as CEO. Gwinnell was most recently CEO of Avtron, a manufacturer of engineered equipment and components. Gwinnell replaces Tom Meola, who resigned from the company after four years as CEO. Solar FlexRack has completed more than 1 gigawatt worth of solar racking installations.
CLEAResult, a 3,000-employee firm that designs and implements energy-efficiency programs for utilities, named Aziz Virani as its new CEO. Virani joins the company from Avanade, a technology consultancy. Prior to Avanade, Virani was a partner at Accenture. Co-founder and interim CEO Jim Stimmel will return to the executive VP position and remain on the board. CLEAResult is part of equity firm General Atlantic's portfolio.
Robert Scheuermann, SoCore Energy’s interim president and CFO, was officially named full-time president of the C&I solar developer. SoCore Energy is a subsidiary of Edison International
Chris Beitel is now COO of battery-based energy storage firm SimpliPhi Power. Previously, Beitel was executive VP of global operations and planning at Silevo, playing a role in its $350 million acquisition by SolarCity. The company's battery technology uses a lithium-ferrous-phosphate chemistry.
Tom Werthan was named CFO at Phononic, a solid-state cooling and heating technology startup. Previously, Werthan was CFO at Solid State Equipment, a semiconductor capital equipment firm sold to Veeco in 2014. The near-term applications for Phononic's thermoelectrics include high-end refrigeration for labs and medical facilities, as well as cooling for fiber optics and data servers. Phononic has raised more than $85 million in funding from investors including Eastwood Capital, Wellcome Trust, Tsing Capital, Venrock, Oak Investment Partners, and Rex Health Ventures.
Jacqueline DeRosa was promoted to VP of emerging technologies at Customized Energy Solutions, a consultancy and energy market specialist. CES recently acquired the assets of demand-response startup Powerit.
Sighten, a solar software provider, added Vivek Malipatil, previously with Verengo Solar, as VP of strategy and operations, and Mariya Nomanbhoy, previously with CPF, as VP of product. Sighten landed a $3.5 million round A of venture funding from Obvious Ventures late last year for its platform to drive down solar's soft costs.
Enertech Search Partners, an executive search firm with a dedicated cleantech practice, is the sponsor of the GTM jobs column.
The firm has an active opening for a CFO: The client is an intelligent distributed energy storage system that captures solar power and delivers it when needed most. It combines batteries, power electronics, and multiple energy inputs in a UL-certified appliance controlled by software running in the cloud.
The client is seeking a chief financial officer who will report directly to the CEO and will be responsible for all financial aspects of the company. In this role, you will provide guidance and support on financial and business matters, as well as growth strategy, business systems, human resources and financial and treasury issues. This role will also serve as the leader of a three-person team that includes the controller and the director of financial planning and administration.
Premier Solar Solutions, a small solar sales and installation company based in Henderson, Nevada, eliminated 66 full-time positions. The move follows the decision by the state's PUC to eliminate solar savings for new and current solar customers, according to a release, which added, "Premier Solar Solutions is a family-owned and operated solar sales and installation company formerly based in Nevada."
Tesla is delivering far fewer jobs than it promised for the Gigafactory.
From last week's column:
Isabelle Kocher was named CEO of French energy giant Engie (the former GDF Suez), becoming the first woman to head a Paris CAC 40 stock index firm (one of the 40 largest publicly held firms in the country), as reported in The Wall Street Journal.