Anders Runevad steps down as Vestas CEO

Anders Runevad will step down as Vestas chief executive officer (CEO) and president on 1 August 2019, to be replaced by Henrik Andersen, who is currently the CEO of coatings supplier Hempel and a Vestas board member.

Anders Runevad has held the post of Vestas CEO for six years (pic credit: WindEurope)

Runevad, who has led the manufacturer for six years, will be retained as an advisor to Vestas and the company’s chairman Bert Nordberg until mid-2020.

He will also remain chairman of MHI Vestas’ offshore wind division during this period.

Bert Nordberg, Vestas’ chairman of the board, praised Runevad's leadership during the company's turnaround during the early part of the decade "and started the journey towards becoming the global leader in sustainable energy solutions".

Runevad has served as Vestas’ group president and CEO since September 2013.

He took the helm at the manufacturer after long-serving CEO Ditlev Engel was sacked towards the end of a controversial turnaround programme in which costs were slashed and thousands of jobs were cut.

Under Runevad, Vestas declared the end of its recovery following publication of its annual results in February 2014.

He also oversaw the manufacturer’s offshore joint venture with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and has guided Vestas to the number one spot for turbine OEMs.

Last year, Vestas produced one in five turbines installed worldwide. However, the manufacturer’s 2018 annual net profit was down 25% despite a 2% increase in its revenue, indicating how competitive the wind power market has become.

Following the announcement of his departure, Runevad said: "After completing the turnaround, implementing our profitable growth strategy, and bringing wind energy on par with fossil fuel, Vestas and the industry have entered a new phase and I believe this is the right time for me to step down. 

"Today, we are the global leader in wind and have started our journey to become the global leader in sustainable energy, and I’m pleased to hand over a company in great shape that will also benefit from the perspective of a new leader."

His replacement Henrik Andersen joined Vestas’ board in 2013 and has served in management roles in global companies over the last 20 years, including most recently as CEO of Hempel.

Nordberg added Andersen’s leadership would "ensure continuation in the short-term and build momentum for our long-term vision".

"Henrik has a proven track record of building and transforming global businesses, which will be a huge asset as Vestas goes from the leader in wind energy to the leader in sustainable energy," he said.