• REC of Norway brought in new Chief Commercial Officer Stephan Herkert
  • The vertically-integrated module maker has let go 65 employees from its global team
  • Most of the lay offs are in its locations in Europe, Asia and Africa

Within a month of REC Solar bringing in a new Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), the Norwegian company has started a restructuring phase, trimming its global headcount by 3%. In the year of its 20th anniversary, the company has laid off 65 people out of the 2,200 employees it employs globally in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Solar panel manufacturer REC of Norway appointed Stephan Herkert as the CCO on September 1, 2016. Herkert is responsible for all aspects of sales, marketing and product management for the company’s global operations. His job is to make REC ‘more customer and market driven’. Stephan Herkert brings more than 25 years of experience in international sales and business development to REC, and is a professional in the solar industry; he has held global roles with panel and inverter manufacturers, as well as with leading project developers and investors. Originally from Germany, Herkert will be based out of REC’s operational headquarters in Singapore.

Recent market turmoils have lead to significant price pressure on solar panels, owing to which REC had to go in for organizational restructuring, stated a company spokesperson.

CEO Steve O’Neil said, “Restructuring that involves layoffs is never pleasant. But the result of REC’s restructuring puts us on a stronger path compete and grow. REC is also investing for the future; in state-of-the-art equipment for our new block production facility in Herøya, Norway, and in upgrades to our Singapore operations.”

A Bluestar Elkem company, REC will be investing $48 million to upgrade its integrated wafer, cell and module production facility in Singapore, which will comprise converting all lines to REC TwinPeak  – the company’s PERC cell technology based module product – and incorporating further automation to its integrated production process. REC, which has a sister company, Elkem Solar in Norway, that produces solar silicon, was taken over by Elkem Bluestar in early 2015. Elkem belongs to Chinese state-owned company Bluestar. Recently, REC announced to to restart its old silicon ingot factory in Norway. The company also published recently that it was able to produce solar cells exceeding 20% efficiency, a process it now plans to transfer into mass production  (see REC PERC Technology Milestone).