Floating offshore wind developer Aker Offshore Wind has hired former MHI Vestas boss Philippe Kavafyan as its new CEO.
From 1 November, the industry veteran will replace Astrid Skarheim Onsum, who has decided to pursue interests outside the company.
Kavafyan has spent more than 15 years in the wind industry, and has prior experience in power generation with French utility Electricité de France, US conglomerate General Electric and French multinational energy company Areva.
Most recently, he was CEO of MHI Vestas, but left the offshore wind turbine manufacturer when parent company Vestas bought out joint venture partner Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
“Philippe Kavafyan’s broad experience as an executive in the offshore wind industry makes him the ideal candidate to take Aker Offshore Wind through the next stages of development,” said Kristian Røkke, chairman of Aker Offshore Wind and CEO of the company’s main owner, Aker Horizons.
Aker Offshore Wind highlighted South Korea, the US, Norway and Scotland as target markets ahead of its spin-off as a separate entity from the wider Aker company.
It aims to use its 47% stake in floating offshore wind platform manufacturer Principle Power to help develop offshore wind sites in deep waters.
Aker Offshore Wind is majority-owned by Aker Horizons, Aker's renewable energy investement unit. Aker Horizons is the investment arm of Norwegian group Aker.
“I am excited to take on this role at Aker Offshore Wind, which is in a great position to lead the industrialisation of floating wind on a big scale, utilising its unique industrial heritage from the Aker group and strong, early positions in major offshore projects around the world,” Kavafyan said.