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Top 30 People: 2. Anders Runevad CEO, Vestas

One thing is clear after 14 months of Runevad's tenure as Vestas CEO. He has a very different style of leadership to that of predecessor Ditlev Engel - so much so that one wonders if that was the former Ericsson executive's primary qualification for the job.

In 2013 Anders Runevad was in second place
In 2013 Anders Runevad was in second place

(2013: 2)

Manufacturer

The last 18 months of Engel's reign put Vestas into the headlines for all the wrong reasons, from gearbox failures to a boardroom bloodbath, which may have contributed to his high profile.

Since Runevad's arrival, Vestas has been on a much more even keel, and Runevad himself has stayed below the radar. The offshore venture with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, MHI Vestas, has gone through, the company figures are looking good and operations seem to be back on track for the world's number-one wind turbine manufacturer. In March's AGM, Runevad felt able to declare the corner had been turned and outlined his own strategy to move Vestas forward.

But anyone expecting a bold new vision would have been disappointed. His strategy is very much a continuation of business as usual: offload non-core production facilities, lower costs, and focus on new and emerging markets. Probably the most symbolic announcement was the aim to increase revenue from services by 30%.

One other element has been the signing of a EUR1 billion loan facility. Industry analysts believe this is to inspire confidence in customers considering long-term servicing deals. It is hard to imagine Siemens or GE, its two most likely competitors in offshore and onshore respectively, doing the same.

With this in the mind, keeping things on the straight and narrow appears to be the hallmark of Runevad. But after the reign of Engel, maybe that is the way forward.

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