Vestas appoints new CTO and COO to drive the next energy transition phase

Source: press release, 12 May 2020

Vestas Chief Operating Officer (COO), Tommy Rahbek Nielsen
Vestas Chief Operating Officer (COO), Tommy Rahbek Nielsen (photo: Vestas)

Driven by the position of renewables as the cheapest source of electricity in two-thirds of the world, the energy transition is, despite short-term uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic, in a new phase where higher penetration of renewables, accelerated electrification and new markets are creating novel and increasing demands for Vestas’ technology, manufacturing and solutions.

To lead technology development throughout this new phase, Vestas has announced that Anders Nielsen will become Executive Vice President of Vestas Power Solutions (Chief Technology Officer), taking over from Anders Vedel who will continue in a role as Chief Scientific Advisor. At the same time, Tommy Rahbek Nielsen, who has served as interim Executive Vice President of Manufacturing and Global Procurement (Chief Operating Officer) since 1 January 2020, will become the permanent COO of Vestas. Both appointments are effective as of today, 12 May 2020.

President and CEO of Vestas, Henrik Andersen, says, “On behalf of all of Vestas, I’m delighted to welcome Anders Nielsen as our new CTO and confirm Tommy Rahbek Nielsen as our COO. Vestas will continue to push the industry to higher levels with Anders and Tommy, and I’m confident the two functions will work closely to leverage our industry-leading technology investments and unparalleled scale to a level that surpasses past performance. I’m also pleased we now have an Executive Management Team with the profile and experience to lead Vestas and the industry through the next exciting phase of the energy transition and restart of the global economy.”

Anders Nielsen brings more than 30 years of industrial experience from the automotive industry, including executive roles at Scania, Man Truck & Bus AG and Volkswagen Truck & Bus. Most recently Nielsen served as CTO of Traton Group, a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, and has a proven track record within innovation, modularisation, and technology partnerships and collaboration.

Vestas’ incoming CTO, Anders Nielsen, says, “With renewables being cost-competitive and a source of stability during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a truly exciting time to join the energy industry and I’m honoured to be accepting the opportunity Vestas has given me. I look forward to working closely with our thousands of highly-skilled engineers to accelerate modularisation and develop the sustainable energy solutions that will accelerate the global energy transition.”

Together with developing and delivering a broader scope and a larger volume of sustainable energy solutions, a key priority for both Vestas Power Solutions and Manufacturing & Global Procurement is implementing and accelerating modularisation and modular product development across Vestas’ entire value chain.

“From 2017 to 2019 Vestas’ deliveries have increased by almost 50% and I’m honoured to be handed a leading role in efficiently scaling the company further in the current extraordinary circumstances. Modularisation offers a great opportunity to scale efficiently, and I look forward to collaborating with my many Vestas colleagues and our great external partners to fulfil the potential of modularisation,” says Tommy Rahbek Nielsen, Executive Vice President of Manufacturing and Global Procurement.

As Chief Scientific Advisor, Anders Vedel will report to Henrik Andersen, but hand over his seat in Vestas’ Executive Management to Anders Nielsen. In his new role, Anders Vedel serves as executive advisor to Henrik Andersen as well the boards of both Vestas and MHI Vestas Offshore, providing his unique experience within technology, science and renewables.

Handing over the reins to the new CTO, Anders Vedel, says, “It has been a great honour to be Vestas’ CTO for almost 10 years, and I would like to thank my many colleagues for their hard work, expertise and passion. These qualities have been the foundation of the great success we have achieved together. When I started in Vestas, very few people believed a wind turbine rotor would become much larger than 80 metres, or that wind energy could be cost-competitive, but together we have proven the doubters wrong and established wind energy as a leading energy source. I’m pleased Vestas has found such a strong successor in Anders Nielsen and I look very much forward to continuing in my role as Chief Scientific Advisor.”

Speaking on Anders Vedel’s new role, Henrik Andersen says, “For the last 25 years, Anders Vedel has with his passion and expertise helped Vestas pioneer wind energy solutions, spearheading numerous large technological breakthroughs and incremental innovations. The technological progress under Anders’ rein as CTO is astonishing, and Vestas wishes to thank him for his contribution. In Executive Management we are furthermore very pleased to keep a thought leader and friend like Anders Vedel onboard as an executive advisor and a go-to person for many of us.”