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first solar - new ceo

First Solar Appoints Hughes CEO

First Solar, Inc. announced that James Hughes has been appointed Chief Executive Officer. Hughes succeeds Mike Ahearn, First Solar’s founder and Chairman, who has been serving as 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.

“Jim has been instrumental in developing the strategic plan that will enable us to compete and win in this new era for the solar industry, and it became clear he is the right person to lead the execution of that plan,” said Ahearn. “Jim brings a wide range of experience that will be invaluable in leading our organization, having owned and operated utilities, built power projects, cultivated partnerships and led profitable growth in a wide array of key markets around the world.”

“I am excited for this opportunity to lead First Solar into a new era for the industry,” said Hughes. “First Solar is unrivaled in terms of talent and experience and has the premier platform from which to implement solar power at a meaningful scale around the world. The rapid cost reductions in the industry position solar at the threshold of the mainstream energy markets, and we are well-positioned to capitalize on that opportunity.”

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.

Hughes earned a juris doctor from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, a Certificate of Completion in international business law from Queen Mary’s College, University of London, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University.

For more information on First Solar, visit First Solar’s website at firstsolar.com.

First Solar

Hughes Joins First Solar As Chief Commercial Officer

First Solar, Inc. announced it has hired James Hughes as Chief Commercial Officer. In this newly created role designed to accelerate First Solar’s entry into emerging markets, Hughes will have comprehensive leadership responsibility for global business development and sales; project development; engineering, procurement and construction (EPC); product management and international public affairs and communications.

Reporting to Hughes will be Jim Brown, Executive Vice President of Global Business Development; Maja Wessels, Executive Vice President of Global Public Affairs; Jim Lamon, Senior Vice President of EPC and Operations and Maintenance; Tom Kuster, Vice President of Product Management and Customer Service; and Ted Meyer, Vice President of Global Corporate Communications.

“Jim is extraordinarily prepared to help First Solar open new markets and reach revenue goals,” said Mike Ahearn, First Solar’s Chairman and Interim Chief Executive Officer. “We will benefit greatly from his diverse and extensive global and operational experience in the energy sector.”

Most recently, Hughes was CEO and Director of AEI, which owned and operated power distribution, power generation, natural gas transportation and services, and natural gas distribution businesses in emerging markets worldwide. Previously, he was President and Chief Operating Officer for Prisma Energy, which was formed out of former Enron interests in international electric and natural gas utilities.

Hughes earned a juris doctor from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, a Certificate of Completion in international business law from Queen Mary’s College, University of London, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University.

First Solar designs and builds complete photovoltaic (PV) power plants for customers around the world – including the two largest PV projects in the world, which are currently under construction – and is the world’s largest manufacturer of thin-film solar modules. The company is committed to sustainability and created the solar industry’s first prefunded collection and recycling program.

firstsolar.com