Wind Giant Vestas Shakes Up Management With Eyes on Americas

Source: By Will Mathis, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, June 2, 2021

(Bloomberg) — Vestas Wind Systems A/S appointed a new chief sales officer in a broader overhaul as it battles with General Electric Co. for the top spot in the global wind industry.

Vestas has traditionally been the top manufacturer of wind turbines, a technology expected to drive the green revolution for decades to come, but BloombergNEF now has the U.S. company down as the biggest seller.

Javier Rodriguez Diez will move to the top sales job from his current role as the head of the company’s Mediterranean division, replacing Juan Araluce, Vestas said in a statement on Wednesday. The Danish firm is also establishing a Latin America unit, headed by Eduardo Ricotta Torres Costa to bolster regional sales.

Vestas also said it hired Engie SA’s Laura Beane to lead its North America division. The U.S. is a key market for the wind industry and a region where its biggest rival is particularly strong.

“The appointment of Laura Beane follows a period of preparing Vestas North America for the expected future growth in the U.S. market in the coming years,” Vestas said.

Last year, GE’s domestic strength helped it overtake Vestas as the world’s top supplier, according to BloombergNEF. But data from the Global Wind Energy Council showed that Vestas was still in the lead last year. Vestas’s order intake in the America’s declined by more than 37% last year, according to its annual report.

All regional heads will report directly to the company’s Chief Executive Officer Henrik Andersen rather than to the chief sales officer.

The reorganization follows a move last year to take more control of its lagging offshore wind division. Vestas bought out its joint venture partner to consolidate control of a segment that has significant growth potential in the coming years.