James Hughes, the CCO, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer. Hughes succeeds Mike Ahearn, First Solar's founder and Chairman, interim CEO since Oct. 2011. Hughes joined First Solar in March as Chief Commercial Officer. Ahearn will continue in his role as Chairman of the Board.
According to a company release, "Hughes has nearly 20 years of experience in the global energy industry. Before joining First Solar, he served as the CEO of AEI, which owned and operated power distribution, conventional and renewable power generation, natural gas transportation and natural gas distribution businesses in 19 countries. Prior to that, he was President and Chief Operating Officer for Prisma Energy."
Dave Eaglesham, the CTO for the last six years, has retired and been replaced by Raffi Garabedian. Garabedian joined First Solar in 2008 as Director of Disruptive Technologies, and was promoted to Vice President of Advanced Technologies in 2010, overseeing the company's advanced research and development (R&D) operations in Santa Clara, Calif.
First Solar also appointed Sujoy Ghosh as Country Head to lead business development in India and manage First Solar's new office based in New Delhi. Ghosh joins First Solar from GE Energy. India accounted for approximately 8 percent of First Solar's sales last year.
Amyris (Nasdaq:AMRS), a renewable chemicals and fuels firm, "re-aligned" its senior leadership team. Three members of the management team are out: Mario Portela, President of Global Operations; Tamara Tompkins, EVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary; and Neil Renninger, CTO. Renninger stays on as a member of Amyris's Board of Directors.
Jeffery Wolfe, CEO of groSolar, a commercial solar installer, has stepped down from the post to be succeeded by Jamie Resor. Wolfe worked at the firm for 14 years.
The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) Board of Directors recently held elections for two of its three officer positions. Ervan Hancock, Manager of Renewable and Green Strategies for Georgia Power, was elected to the position of Vice Chairman. Matthew Cheney, CEO of CleanPath Ventures, was elected as Treasurer. David Rubin, Director of Service Analysis for PG&E, remains as Chairman.