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5 February 2009


CIGS PV maker HelioVolt appoints CEO and CFO as it prepares for ramp up

As it builds out its US manufacturing capacity, HelioVolt Corp of Austin, TX, USA, which makes thin-film copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) solar cells and modules, has added to its executive management team by recruiting Sanjeev Kumar, the former chief financial officer of Energy Conversion Devices Inc (ECD), as its CFO and by appointing Ron Bernal (a board member since 2007 and a partner at Sequel Ventures) as interim CEO.

Bernal replaces Dr Billy J. Stanbery, who founded HelioVolt in 2001 and will now serve as chief strategy officer and chairman. The board will conduct an international search for a permanent CEO to lead the firm in its next phase of growth. “As the company continues to expand, the additional skills of our management team will support our aggressive plans to manufacture and commercialize thin-film PV modules and building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) products for global markets,” says Stanbery.  

In October 2007, HelioVolt raised $101m in a series B funding round from investors including the Masdar Clean Tech Fund (the venture and development arm of the sultanate of Abu Dhabi), New Enterprise Associates, Paladin Capital Group and Sequel Ventures. Last October, HelioVolt opened its first $80m, 20MW commercial production line, which uses the proprietary FASST manufacturing process (invented by Stanbery) to print thin-film CIGS PV material directly onto glass substrates for solar modules or onto building products including architectural glass and roofing tiles.  

Bernal will direct the firm as it transitions from development to full-scale commercial production. He has previously served as a venture partner at Sutter Hill Ventures and as VP of operations for the product technology groups at Cisco Systems.  

Kumar will lead HelioVolt’s overall financial growth while providing further organizational and strategic support. In his prior tenure as ECD’s CFO, ECD commercialized new technologies, reached profitability, completed a major capital raise, and delivered significant value to shareholders. Kumar is also a board member for Solar Integrated Technologies Inc, a designer, manufacturer and installer of building-integrated photovoltaic products. He has over 15 years of experience in global energy markets and spent nine years with Occidental Petroleum Corporation in Los Angeles. 

See related item:

HelioVolt lays off staff

Search: HelioVolt CIGS


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