In a major leadership shake-up, First Solar’s COO Philip Tymen deJong will transfer most of his responsibilities to Michael Koralewski (left), Kuntal Kumar Verma and Patrick Buehler (middle). The management has also elevated Markus Gloeckler (right) as the co-CTO for the company. (Photo Credit: LinkedIn)
- First Solar COO Philip Tymen deJong plans to retire with effect from April 2021
- He will stay on during the transition period to oversee certain priority projects for the company and hand over a majority of his responsibilities to the new executive leadership team additions Michael Koralewski, Kuntal Kumar Verma and Patrick Buehler
- First Solar has also announced the appointment of Markus Gloeckler as the co-CTO to work alongside existing CTO Raffi Garabedian
- Jason Dymbort will join the executive leadership team as General Counsel and Secretary
The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of First Solar, Inc. Philip Tymen deJong will be retiring from the company after working here for 10 years. His retirement will take effect from April 2021 during which he will continue to oversee certain priority projects for the company.
The outgoing COO is credited with playing an instrumental role in establishing First Solar’s international Series 6 module manufacturing. It already has 5 fabs running and a 6th one on track to complete production during Q1/2021.
During this transition period, deJong will handover the majority of his responsibilities to the current leadership team of Chief Manufacturing Operations Officer Michael Koralewski, Chief Manufacturing Engineering Officer Kuntal Kumar Verma, and Chief Quality and Reliability Officer Patrick Buehler. The trio will join First Solar’s executive leadership team.
“After a decade of stewardship of our manufacturing, supply chain, and enterprise-wide operations, Tymen’s retirement is well earned. I am grateful that he will continue to serve the Company on several key initiatives until his retirement is effective in April of next year,” said company CEO Mark Widmar.
Co-Chief Technology Officer
In another strategic move to have laser sharp focus on technology, First Solar has elevated Markus Gloeckler as the co-chief technology officer (Co-CTO) alongside the company’s first CTO since 2012, Raffi Garabedian. As part of the American manufacturer’s new co-CTO structure, Gloeckler will join First Solar’s Executive Leadership team. Before being elevated to the current position, Gloeckler served as vice president–chief scientist, before being promoted to senior vice president–Module Research & Development. He was instrumental in enabling First Solar’s achievement of a world-record conversion efficiency for a CdTe solar cell.
“Moving to a co-CTO structure will enhance our platform for growth and aligns with our vision to excel in technology,” explained Widmar. “As co-CTOs, Markus will continue to drive our Series 6 platform, enabling Raffi to focus on advanced research and development and further pursue the capabilities of our industry-leading cadmium telluride thin-film module technology.”
Yet another leadership level addition is the appointment of Jason Dymbort to the executive leadership team as general counsel and secretary after serving in this capacity on an interim basis since March 2020.