Australia’s largest solar PV retailer True Value Solar announced today that its CEO Suren Chandrajit had resigned.
TrueValue’s “phoenix like rise” was noted in an earlier interview with Chandrajit back in May 2012, and his resignation comes as something of a surprise to those watching the industry.
Management announced that Doug Roem has been appointed to the position of CEO effective immediately.
The Australian Solar industry is a fascinating and tumultuous place for those at the top; particularly so it seems for those with large corporate structures, major investors and or those who have gone down the IPO route.
In the last few years we have seen the majority of companies in this league suffer from low profits, falling share prices and in some cases total collapse. However, despite this, there remains a reasonable appetite for those with the means to invest, a sign that for those with vision and persistence this industry holds great promise despite the risk.
Just what drove a seasoned business professional such as Chandrajit to resign from the helm at the height of the company’s success remains to be seen but it would seem reasonable to speculate that the pressure could be bearing down on this leviathan too.
German engineering and construction company M+W group took a 60% share of TVS around a year ago in an undisclosed deal and it may be that like most in the industry, profits are being squeezed hard or that there are internal pressures.
One of the major challenges for PV companies is the falling cost of product, which perpetually reduces revenue streams (as costs fall) unless growth or margin’s grow too. This perpetual decline can and has left many companies exposed to stock write downs and the bigger your size – and stocks – the bigger the impact.
Many I talk to at the “pointy end” of PV retailing, right across the value chain get edgy and nervous when I ask about margins. Things are very, very tight by all accounts and, as the SolarShop collapse last year highlighted, small miscalculations can be catastrophic when the stakes and leverage are high.
Never a dull moment.