James Hughes, a previous long-term executive within the corporate structures of the infamous Enron, has been chosen by First Solar's chairman and interim CEO Mike Ahearn to lead its major business strategy change to focus on the unsubsidized emerging PV markets, such as Chile. Hughes has been appointed as chief commercial officer – a newly created role.

Hughes had been president of Enron Global Assets and also as general counsel of Enron International. More recently, he had held the role of president of Prisma Energy, a company that evolved out of the Enron debacle.

"Jim is extraordinarily prepared to help First Solar open new markets and reach revenue goals," said Mike Ahearn. "We will benefit greatly from his diverse and extensive global and operational experience in the energy sector."

First Solar said that Hughes would be responsible for the global business development and sales; project development; engineering, procurement and construction (EPC); product management and international public affairs and communications within emerging markets.

In a SEC filing detailing the recent appointment of a former Enron executive, James A. Hughes as Chief Commercial Officer at First Solar, Hughes picks-up US$1.2 million in restricted shares in the company on top of a sign-on bonus of US$425,000. His annual salary was said to be US$550,000.