Solarfun Power Holdings Co. Ltd., a Chinese manufacturer of solar energy technology, is getting a new CEO, the company said Friday.
Harold Hoskens will take over the ingot, cell and panel making company's top executive slot Feb. 25.
Though Solarfun (NSDQ: SOLF) did not say why founder and current CEO Lu Yonghua is stepping down, the company did say Lu would continue in his role as chairman.
Before agreeing to join Solarfun, Hoskens worked as deputy CEO for Taiwanese company TPO Displays, which develops mobile displays.
TPO was created from a June 2006, Hoskens-led merger between Royal Philips' Mobile Display Systems and Taiwan's Toppoly.
Before the merger, Hoskens was CEO of Mobile Display Systems' Hong Kong division.
Now Hoskens will try his hand in the solar industry by pushing Solarfun to reach its goal of a 360 megawatt manufacturing capacity by the end of 2008, according to Solarfun's Web site.
Lately, Solarfun has been working to make sure it hits that mark.
Earlier this week the company said it would sell $230 million worth of wafers over a seven-year period to an unnamed Korean conglomerate.
The news helped drive Solarfun's stock up 96 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $36.95 per share.
And in November, Solarfun boosted investor confidence when it locked up $306 million worth of silicon, the coveted and currently limited key ingredient in equipment that converts the sun's light into energy.
But Hoskens still has his work cut out for him. Solarfun is one of several new entrants into China's solar industry, and some analysts question the company's tenacity.
Solarfun "lacks a competitive advantage, and its narrow customer base, uncertain demand and operational startup risks make it a speculative investment," Rick Hanna, Morningstar equity analyst, said in an early-December research note.
Solarfun representatives were not available for comment by press time.