Suntech Replaces CEO (STP)


Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE: STP) today announced that David King has been named the company's new CEO, replacing company founder Zhengrong Shi, who will remain as Suntech's executive chairman and new chief strategy officer. King joined Suntech in May 2011 as the company's CFO. Here's what Shi had to say in the press release:

The solar industry is at a critical juncture and is facing both significant challenges and exciting opportunities. At this time, I believe it's important to devote more of my time to guiding the strategic direction of the Company, building relationships with key partners, and driving the ongoing development of Suntech's leading solar technology.

Like virtually every other solar PV maker, Suntech has had a rough year. The share price is down about 84% in the past 12 months.

Most recently the company has said that it may have been the victim of a $690 million fraud related to an investment in a company that Suntech expected to help it in the European market. Suntech discovered that bonds put up as collateral by the other company may not exist, leaving Suntech on the hook for a €554 million loan guarantee. The company has a loan repayment of $541 million due next year, and there is significant doubt that the company will be able to meet that repayment. A finance guy in the driver's seat may be what's needed here, especially since the original deal was done by the outgoing CEO.

Suntech's shares are down about 2% in early trading this morning, at $1.03 in a 52-week range of $0.81 to $6.66.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Corporate Governance, International Markets, Management Change, Shareholder Issues Tagged: STP