11 April 2012

First Solar nominates two new board members and seek two further independent directors

First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA - which manufactures thin-film photovoltaic modules based on cadmium telluride (CdTe) as well as providing engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services – has nominated two new candidates for election to its board of directors, and expanded the size of the board from nine to 11, creating two vacancies as it continues to seek additional independent directors.

First Solar has nominated George ‘Chip’ Hambro and Richard ‘Rick’ Chapman to stand for election to the board at the Annual Meeting of Stockholders on 23 May. Chapman will serve as an independent director.

To fill the two new vacancies, First Solar has retained an executive search firm to help identify candidates with experience that will support the firm’s strategy to compete as a vertically integrated provider of photovoltaic power plants in energy markets that are sustainable without subsidies.

The firm has also announced that, due to personal commitments, José Villarreal (a director since 2007) will retire from the board and will not seek re-election at the annual meeting.

“Chip and Rick are both knowledgeable about First Solar’s strategy and operations and have diverse experience and expertise that will make them valuable additions to our board,” says chairman & interim CEO Mike Ahearn. “We are also committed to further expanding our board by adding two additional independent directors to support our long-term strategic plan,” he adds.

Chapman is chief financial officer of Walton Enterprises Inc, where he has worked since 1983. Currently he oversees all aspects of the Walton Family Office in Arkansas. Chapman also serves as a director on the boards of the Arvest Bank Group; the University of Arkansas Foundation (on the executive and finance committees); and the Razorback Foundation (as a member of the investment committee). He was previously a member of the board of managers of First Solar Holdings LLC prior to its initial public offering and equity investment firm JWMA (formerly True North Partners LLC). Chapman earned a B.S.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Arkansas and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Hambro previously held various positions at First Solar from June 2001 through June 2009, including serving as chief operating officer from February 2005 through May 2007. Prior to joining First Solar, he was VP of engineering & business development for Goodrich Aerospace from May 1999 to June 2001 and VP of operations for ITT Industries from February 1997 to May 1999. For the last five years, Hambro has been a director of both the Toledo Zoo and Imagination Station, Toledo’s children’s science museum. He currently serves on the board of directors of Soladigm Inc, a developer of next-generation green building solutions. Hambro graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.A. in Physical Science (Applied Physics).

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

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