Exec shake-ups at China PV giants

Trina Solar and JA Solar, two of China’s most important PV companies, announced significant management shake-ups on Wednesday, placing a heavier emphasis on operators with international and downstream experience.

Terry Wang, chief financial officer for more than five years at Trina, will step down from January, handing the reins to PV industry rookie Teresa Tan.

Tan has worked for nearly a decade at Parker Hannifin Corporation, the New York-listed maker of motion and control technologies, most recently heading the company’s financial services team for the Asia Pacific region.

Wang’s resignation was announced just weeks after Trina joined the small but growing group of Chinese PV manufacturers that have returned to profitability. Trina is China’s second largest supplier of PV modules after Yingli.

Tan’s appointment will see Trina “continue to strengthen our communications with the market and better understand the requirements of investors”, says chief executive Jifan Gao.

JA Solar, another tier-one Chinese PV manufacturer, today announced an even broader management shake-up.

Jian Xie, currently chief operating officer, will become the company’s new president, with the COO role to be filled by current chief technology officer Yong Liu.

JA did not disclose whether it will hire a new CTO or whether Liu will take on both jobs.

Meanwhile, Herman Zhao – JA’s chief financial officer from 2006 to 2008 – will return to his former role, taking over from current CFO Min Cao, who will instead assume the role of chief strategy officer.

Over the past five years Zhao served as CFO at Legend Silicon Corporation, a California-based semiconductor company, and at Sky Solar, which has emerged as one of China’s most important downstream PV developers.