FTC Solar replaces CEO amid ‘tough operational environment’

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Hunkler was chosen because of his experience in business operations at a time when FTC Solar is facing acute price pressures. Image: LinkedIn

US tracker manufacturer FTC Solar will replace its CEO Tony Etnyre after two-and-a-half years in the role with ex-SunEdison and semiconductor firm senior exec Sean Hunkler.   

The transition will take place on 24 September, with Etnyre continuing to support the company on strategic matters and business development through a transition period reaching into 2022.

Chairman of the FTC Solar board of directors, T.J. Rodgers, said the moves comes amid “a tough operational environment” that is challenging the company. “The selection of Sean Hunkler to succeed [Etnyre] as CEO results from his extensive experience and demonstrated track record of driving growth and operational excellence across all aspects of global operations for industry leading companies.”

Hunkler joins FTC from Western Digital Corporation, a US hard drive manufacturer and data storage company. As executive vice president of global operations he led more than 62,000 people across a network including 18 factories. Before this, he worked in the semiconductor and solar industries, including serving as EVP of Global Operations for NXP Semiconductors, and then chief operating officer of its spin-off company, Nexperia.

Hunkler, who also held a senior VP role at SunEdison, said he was honoured to be selected as the company’s new CEO and lauded the company’s “differentiated products and services that are clearly resonating in the marketplace and delivering exceptional value for its customers.”

Etnyre, who has been a member of the FTC team since its inception in 2017 and has served as CEO since March 2019, said: “I’ve known Sean for many years and have worked with him on multiple occasions. As I pass the FTC Solar CEO baton to him, I know he will be a great fit for the company and will take FTC Solar to new levels of achievement.”

In August, the company said it was turning to alternative shipping methods and cost-cutting initiatives in a bid to return the business to profitability in Q4 after poor financial performance in the previous quarters. This followed an IPO on the NASDAQ in which FTC Solar downgraded the pricing of its initial shares.

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