Solar Millennium: Supervisory Board appoints Prof. Dr. Utz Claassen as new CEO
- Prof. Utz Claassen will take office as early as 1 January 2010
- With this appointment, the Supervisory Board sustainably strengthens the Management Board in view of the dynamic market development in the field of renewable energy generation
- Based on the excellent market conditions, the Solar Millennium Group will consistently continue to pursue its ambitious growth path
- Supervisory Board Chairman Pflaumer: "Appointment of Claassen most positively reflects the change in social values and the paradigm shift towards preserving resources and protecting the climate" / an exemplary process
- Claassen: "A downright logical step" / realization of a longtime vision
Prof. Dr. Utz Claassen (46) will be Solar Millennium AG's (ISIN DE0007218406) new CEO. This was decided unanimously at an extraordinary meeting of the Supervisory Board this Monday evening. Prof. Claassen will assume the position starting on 1 January 2010. With this appointment, the Supervisory Board is strengthening sustainably the Management Board for the consistent continuation of the Solar Millennium Group's dynamic growth story, which is based on excellent market conditions for solar thermal power plants.
While the frameworks for the realization of solar thermal power plants are being improved in several countries around the world, major projects like Desertec or international conventions on climate protection are opening up additional strategic options. The Supervisory Board believes this development will involve outstanding opportunities for the Solar Millennium Group.
By committing Prof. Claassen as the new CEO, the Company's transition into the next phase of transformation and further professionalization has been initiated. Given his qualifications, experience and expertise that are particularly valuable for the Company, the Supervisory Board associates his entry with substantial growth and earnings prospects as well as strategic potential.
As Chairman of the Board of Directors Prof. Claassen will be responsible for corporate strategy, corporate management, corporate development, technology development, organization, corporate investment management, legal affairs, auditing, risk management, public relations, political relations and committee work. The further assignment of responsibilities within the Management Board will be announced in January 2010.
The Chairman of Solar Millennium AG's Supervisory Board, Helmut Pflaumer, says: "With Professor Claassen we have managed to attract an exceptional personality as CEO. His global background, outstanding management skills and excellent international reputation as well as his extensive experience in strategy development and financial market issues and his renowned expertise in the energy sector were the decisive factors in our choice. I am convinced that both the demanding task of shaping the Solar Millennium Group's further growth story and the implementation of future billioneuro projects are in good hands with him. The fact that the former CEO of one of Germany's largest utilities companies is now focusing his entrepreneurial spirit on renewable energies, most positively reflects the change in social values and the paradigm shift towards the preservation of resources and climate protection underway. It is to be hoped, that this exemplary process, which Mr. Claassen is able to represent like no one else given his wellknown positions on energy policy, will set standards and promote a further change in political, social and economic thinking. I am looking forward to the cooperation. At the same time, I would also like to thank Christian Beltle for his excellent work on behalf of the entire Supervisory Board. 2008/2009 sees the best result in the Solar Millennium Group's history."
Prof. Utz Claassen: "The future of our planet lies in new technologies, particularly in the fields of renewable energies and climate protection. At the 1st German Climate Congress in Berlin in September 2006 I already pictorially demanded that we should ideally generate solar energy in the Sahara or in the Kalahari for use in Tokyo, New York or Central Europe. Solar thermal power was already in the center of this idea at the time. To be able to help realize this vision together with Solar Millennium as pioneer, first mover and sector leader in solar thermal technology is not only an exciting and challenging task, but also a downright logical step towards innovation and shaping our future. I am very much looking forward to being part of a highly motivated team that is creating the future world of energy for the benefit of the climate, environment, customers, investors and shareholders. "
Following Prof. Claassen taking office in January 2010, a press conference on the jointly pursued strategic goals will be held.
Prof. Utz Claassen, who until recently held a consulting position besides his work as an author and different other appointments, was the CEO of EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG from 2003 to 2007. In this position he reorganized Germany's thirdlargest utilities company in operating terms and strategically and helped the group achieve several record results thanks to comprehensive restructuring measures. Before this, Claassen established Satorius AG as an internationally leading supplier of laboratory and process technology in the fields of biotechnology and mechatronics as the company's CEO between 1997 and 2003. There he succeeded in initiating a cultural change within a very short period of time, thus bringing about the company's lasting turnaround. During his time in office, sales were doubled and operating profit increased significantly, among other achievements. He was also responsible for the execution and integration of numerous acquisitions. Earlier, after having worked as a consultant with McKinsey in Düsseldorf, he had held several leading positions in Germany and abroad with Ford Europe in Brentwood, Volkswagen AG in Wolfsburg and as Vice President for Finance and permanent representative of the President in the scope of the successful reorganization of Seat in Barcelona.
Claassen, born in Hanover, Germany on 7 May 1963, studied in Hanover and Oxford, earning a doctorate in Hanover. Today he is an honorary professor at the Institute for Controlling of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University in Hanover and professor for innovative corporate management, risk management and knowledge management at GISMA Business School. Moreover, he is a member of the Foundation Council of the Georg August University of Göttingen.
About solarthermal power plant technology:
Solarthermal power plants generate electricity by converting solar radiation into heat energy. In a parabolic trough power plant, troughshaped mirrors concentrate the incidental radiation onto a pipe in the focal line of the collector. Its absorption heats a fluid heat medium in the pipe, generating steam in the power block through a heat exchanger. As in conventional power plants, the steam powers a turbine to generate electricity. By integrating thermal storage, electricity can be supplied on demand, even after sunset.
Solar Millennium AG
Solar Millennium AG, Erlangen, is an international company in the renewable energy sector, with its main emphasis on solarthermal power plants. Together with its subsidiaries, the company specializes in parabolic trough power plants, a proven and reliable technology with which the Group has adopted a leading position worldwide. Solar Millennium covers all important business sectors along the value chain for solarthermal power plants - from project development and technology to turnkey construction as well as plant operation and investments in power plants. In Spain, Solar Millennium developed Europe's first parabolic trough power plants and realized them with its partners. Additional projects are planned around the world with an overall capacity of more than 2,000 megawatts. The current regional focus is on Spain, the US, India, China and North Africa. Furthermore, the company has the aim of achieving market readiness for the socalled Blue Tower technology for the generation of product gas that is rich in hydrogen through the reformation of regenerative residual materials, and also for solar chimney power plants in the long run.