First Solar names COO

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 29, 2012 9:34 AM

(Reuters) - First Solar Inc named a former private equity venture partner to the newly created position of chief operating officer, at a time when solar financing has dried up.

Georges Antoun, who most recently worked at private equity firm Technology Crossover Ventures, joins a company that in the last few months has appointed a new CEO, cut 30 percent of its workforce and posted a surprise first-quarter loss.

Solar panel maker First Solar's shares have fallen 88 percent in the last one year, a period that saw other solar companies such as U.S.-based Solyndra and Germany's Q-Cells SE going bust due to falling government subsidies and product oversupply.

South Korean group Hanwha may buy insolvent Q-Cells, once the world's largest maker of solar cells, a spokesman for Hanwha Corp said on Friday.

Shares of First Solar rose 4 percent to $15.33 in early trading on Friday on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Krishna N. Das in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)