New Vestas Brazil boss welcomes purge at 'fat' turbine-maker

Miguel Picardo Troyano – Vestas’ new chief executive in Brazil – has welcomed news of the company’s ousting of high-level executives and board members.

“I see this as positive because I think that we are now living the first stages of the new Vestas,” Picardo tells Recharge in an interview. “Today we see that Vestas is quite fat... bigger than we need.”

Despite a loss of €166m ($217m) for 2011, Picardo focuses on Vestas’ “healthy position in gathering new business”, which he says includes the best sales over the past three years.

Higher production costs — which Vestas predicts will decrease in 2012 — for the V112-3.0MW turbine and the company’s GridStreamer technology have squeezed margins. “What we have to do better is to make this profitable,” says Picardo “We are making big sales, but we’re not able to make it profitable.”

Of former chief financial officer Henrik Nørremark, Picardo says: “[He] did very well in the past, but now is the time for a new team.”

Last month, Vestas announced it would cut 2,336 jobs and close or merge some production plants. The job losses were unfortunate but necessary, says Picardo, who notes that companies around the world are going through similar processes.

Picardo, who also heads up Vestas in Spain and Portugal, supports the promotion of Juan Araluce to chief sales officer, from his previous position as president of Vestas Mediterranean.

“In the past four years, Vestas Mediterranean has had the best results compared with the rest of the clusters and you cannot say this is [by chance],” says Picardo. “It was very much because we were thinking of initiatives — of new ways of doing business.” He also stresses the importance of focusing on technology. “Put it all in a cocktail and this is a new Vestas.”

For full coverge of recent events at Vestas click here.