EDPR – one of the world’s biggest wind power operators – named an interim CEO after long-standing boss Joao Manso Neto and Antonio Mexia, the chief executive of parent utility EDP, were suspended from duties amid a long-running corruption investigation in Portugal.
EDPR said Rui Teixeira had joined the company's executive board and designated as the responsible person to coordinate its executive committee activities. A statement to investors said EDPR's management remains fully focused on its strategic agenda.
The move comes after Manso Neto, CEO at EDPR since 2012, and Mexia were suspended from their duties on Monday, reportedly on the direction of a Lisbon judge investigating historic corruption allegations involving a former Portuguese minister and the termination of a power purchase agreement regime. Both men have previously denied any wrongdoing.
EDP, which owns 82.6% of EDPR, said finance chief Miguel Stilwell de Andrade would take over as interim CEO while Mexia is suspended.
An EDP statement said in relation to Mexia and Manso Neto: “The [investigation] process continues in the inquiry phase and they have not been formally accused.”
The company added: “EDP reaffirms that regarding these matters there was no irregularity that can be attributed to the company” in relation to allegations dating back to 2012 that it benefited to the tune of €1.2bn ($1.4bn).
The Portuguese markets authority CMVM on Monday suspended trading in EDP and EDPR and said it was “awaiting the disclosure of relevant information to the market”.
EDPR is one of the world’s biggest wind power operators, with turbines dominating its 11.4GW global capacity. The Portuguese company is a major force in US onshore wind and a growing presence in the global offshore sector, where it recently forged an alliance with Engie of France and has led the pioneering WindFloat deployment off its home shores.
EDP has been part-owned by Chinese giant China Three Gorges since it was privatised by the Portuguese state in 2011.