Xiaofeng Peng resigns from LDK Solar

LDK Solar’s founder, former chairman and director Xiaofeng Peng resigned from his role at the company last week as LDK began the process of restructuring.

The insolvent Chinese PV giant has filed a petition commencing restructuring proceedings in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands, with the first hearing due to take place on September 12. Joint provisional liquidators Tammy Fu and Eleanor Fisher will oversee proceedings, and call the company’s creditors to the Court in mid-October to consider the restructuring arrangement.

As part of the reshuffle, former LDK employee Xingxue Tong will step in as acting chairman while the company establishes a search committee to appoint a new permanent chairman to replace the 39-year-old Peng.

Peng will be retained as a senior consultant, but his resignation brings as chairman brings to an end one of the solar industry’s most enduring unions.

Peng has been a poster child for the Chinese solar industry, once placing in Forbes Magazine‘s prestigious "Young Billionaires" list as the young chairman presided over LDK Solar’s stratospheric growth a few years ago.

However, the company has since relinquished its position as the world’s leading PV wafer manufacturer and has recently been overburdened with debt. A failed diversification strategy to grow into both downstream and upstream loaded further pressure on the company, and on Peng.

Since the company’s peak at the end of 2007 – when its American Depository Shares were worth $68.90 – LDK Solar has endured a painful fall from grace. Today, shares (which were suspended on the New York Stock Exchange in March) are worth $0.40 – 99% below peak levels.