First Solar Announces COO Tymen deJong to Retire and Senior Leadership Changes

PVTIME - First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced that Philip Tymen deJong, Chief Operating Officer (COO), has decided to retire from the Company, effective April 2021. In addition, First Solar announced a series of senior leadership changes.

Mr. deJong’s
successful career spans over four decades, with ten years of service to
First Solar, five of which includes his tenure as COO. Among his many
achievements, Mr. deJong played a fundamental role in establishing the
Company’s international Series 6 module manufacturing footprint with
five announced factories currently in production, and a sixth on track
to commence production during the first quarter of 2021.

Mr.
deJong will continue to serve as COO for an eight-month transition
period, during which he will oversee certain priority projects, while
transitioning the majority of his responsibilities to Michael
Koralewski, Chief Manufacturing Operations Officer; Kuntal Kumar Verma,
Chief Manufacturing Engineering Officer; and Patrick Buehler, Chief
Quality and Reliability Officer, each of whom will join First Solar’s
executive leadership team.

“I am deeply
appreciative of Tymen’s tremendous leadership and his many significant
contributions to First Solar,” said Mark Widmar, Chief Executive Officer
of First Solar. “After a decade of stewardship of our manufacturing,
supply chain, and enterprise-wide operations, Tymen’s retirement is well
earned. I am grateful that he will continue to serve the Company on
several key initiatives until his retirement is effective in April of
next year.”

Mr. Koralewski provides nearly
fifteen years of global operational experience to the executive
leadership team. As Chief Manufacturing Operations Officer, he is
responsible for First Solar’s site operations and supply chain
management. Mr. Koralewski joined First Solar in 2006 and has held
progressively more senior roles in operations and quality management
with global responsibility, including Vice President – Global Quality,
Vice President  – Site Operations (Global) and Plant Manager, and Senior
Vice President – Global Manufacturing.

Since
joining First Solar more than fifteen years ago, Mr. Verma has been
instrumental in scaling up First Solar’s manufacturing capabilities,
including the first and second generation cadmium telluride (CdTe)
manufacturing lines. As Chief Manufacturing Engineering Officer, he is
responsible for global manufacturing replication and performance. Prior
to his current role, Mr. Verma held a variety of engineering roles,
including as Vice President – Global Manufacturing Engineering, Director
– Manufacturing Engineering, and Engineering Manager – Deposition.

Mr.
Buehler brings over a decade of experience in quality and reliability
to the executive leadership team. As Chief Quality and Reliability
Officer, he is responsible for global manufacturing quality, product
reliability, performance and prediction analytics, customer service,
sustainability, and environmental, health and safety. Mr. Buehler joined
First Solar in 2006 and has held progressively more senior technical
and operations roles in quality and reliability, including serving as
Vice President – Quality & Reliability since March 2019.

“With
Series 6 deployed, and a strong team in place to carry it forward, I am
confident that the timing is right for me to retire with the business
in good hands,” said Mr. deJong. “I am working closely with Mike,
Kuntal, and Pat to effect a seamless transition and look forward to
watching the team continue First Solar’s operational excellence
leadership.”

First Solar also announced today
that Markus Gloeckler has been appointed Co-Chief Technology Officer
alongside Raffi Garabedian, First Solar’s Chief Technology Officer since
2012, as part of First Solar’s new co-CTO structure. Mr. Gloeckler will
join First Solar’s executive leadership team.

“Moving
to a co-CTO structure will enhance our platform for growth and aligns
with our vision to excel in technology,” said Mr. Widmar. “As co-CTOs,
Markus will continue to drive our Series 6 platform, enabling Raffi to
focus on advanced research and development and further pursue the
capabilities of our industry-leading cadmium telluride thin-film module
technology.”

Mr. Gloeckler has extensive
experience guiding strategic research and development activities. Prior
to being named Co-Chief Technology Officer, Mr. Gloeckler served as Vice
President – Chief Scientist, before being promoted to Senior Vice
President – Module Research & Development. He was instrumental in
enabling First Solar’s achievement of a world-record conversion
efficiency for a CdTe solar cell.

In addition,
First Solar announced today that Jason Dymbort will join the executive
leadership team as General Counsel and Secretary after serving in this
capacity on an interim basis since March 2020. During his time at First
Solar, which began in 2008, Mr. Dymbort has held numerous legal roles
for the Company, helping to grow the Company’s internal legal
capabilities in support of a broad range of subject matter areas.
Between 2015 and 2018, Mr. Dymbort served as general counsel and
secretary for the general partner of 8point3 Energy Partners, then a
publicly-traded yieldco and affiliate of First Solar. Before joining
First Solar, Mr. Dymbort was a corporate attorney at Cravath, Swaine
& Moore LLP.

“These senior leadership
changes speak to the strength of the talent within First Solar,” said
Caroline Stockdale, First Solar’s Chief People and Communications
Officer. “We believe these additions to the executive leadership team,
all of whom share our vision of leading the world’s sustainable energy
future, will better align our manufacturing, technical, and commercial
capabilities, and set the Company up for continued growth.”

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