Vivint Solar switches leadership as CEO steps down


U.S. solar leasing provider Vivint Solar said goodbye to its former chief executive officer Greg Butterfield yesterday, who stepped down after almost two years at the helm.

Butterfield led Vivint Solar through its initial public offering in October 2014, and it was he who took the decision to terminate the deal to be acquired by the now-bankrupt SunEdison earlier this year.

David Bywater, who has acted as Vivint Solar’s COO since 2013, will step temporarily into the role of CEO while the company searches for a permanent replacement.

The past few months have been testing for the company. In March it made the decision to cancel the $3.3 billion merger agreement with SunEdison, and has since sued the former clean tech giant for damages, the amount of which will be determined at trial.

And while SunEdison has since filed for bankruptcy, Vivint Solar moved in April to reassure investors of its solvency, posting solid first quarter financials that revealed a 20% year-on-year increase in bookings and a 71% rise in nominal contracted payments.

At the time, Butterfield warned that the "uncertainty and the disruption caused by the [failed] transaction [with SunEdison] cannot be understated".

Yesterday the former Vivint Solar CEO paid homage to the company. "It has been an honor to lead Vivint Solar," Butterfield said. "I am confident that Vivint Solar will continue to build upon its strong history of success with the Board and David’s leadership."

Yesterday also brought change in the management of SunEdison, with John S. Dubel appointed as chief restructuring officer for the company. Dubel works for Dubel & Associates, and will be responsible for overseeing SunEdison’s restructirng efforts following its filing last month for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.