SMA managing board shrinks to just four members

SMA Solar Technology has announced today that it is to downsize its managing board to just four individuals as part of the company’s ongoing transformation.

Following just weeks after the German inverter specialist revealed that up to one-third of its global staff are to lose their jobs, today’s announcement is a further sign of SMA’s proactive response to the straitened market conditions of Europe’s embattled solar industry.

Erik Ehrentraut has been appointed as the company’s new chairman of the supervisory board following the untimely death of SMA founder and former chairman Günther Cramer in January, and Ehrentraut’s first task was to announce the reshuffle.

"In the course of SMA’s transformation, we announced a considerable reduction in the number of executive positions at all hierarchy levels," said Ehrentraut in a press statement. "Against this backdrop, the Supervisory Board has decided to also restructure the SMA Managing Board and downsize it to four members."

The reshuffle sees current CEO Pierre-Pascal Urbon take on the additional responsibilities of CFO, reprising the role he held between 2009 and 2012. Roland Grebe – former board member for technical innovation – will be placed in charge of HR and IT, as well as becoming new labor director, while Jürgen Reinert will take on overall responsibility for technology. Martin Kinne remains on the Managing Board as head of sales and service.

The downsizing process sees Lydia Sommer leave her role as head of finance, legal and compliance on February 28. "We are very sorry to see Lydia Sommer go and would like to thank her for her successful work… she played a key role in reorganizing HR and achieved enormous increases in efficiency by means of systematic process involvement," added Ehrentraut.

With Ehrentraut at its helm, the new SMA Supervisory Board – which represents employees and shareholders equally – comprises Roland Bent, Peter Drews, Erik Ehrentraut (chairman), Kim Fausing (deputy chairman), Winfried Hoffmann and Reiner Wettlaufer on the shareholder side, with employees represented by Oliver Dietzel, Günther Häckl, Johannes Häde, Heike Haigis, Joachim Schlosser and Mirko Zeidler.