DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – August 19, 2013 - First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced that it has expanded its regional business development capabilities, with the appointment of Dr. Raed Bkayrat as Vice President (VP) of Business Development for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Additionally, Ahmed S. Nada, VP of Business Development for the Middle East, will also oversee the company's commercial growth in North Africa. Raed and Ahmed will report to Christopher Burghardt, VP of Business Development for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
"First Solar's growing footprint translates into a winning combination of local insights and global expertise, which is driving our efforts to enable the region's solar energy goals," Christopher Burghardt said. "Our decision to expand our business development team is a reflection of the tremendous potential that we see in the region. Both Ahmed and Raed bring extensive experience to their roles and there is no doubt in my mind that, together, they will successfully lead efforts to grow our presence across the Middle East and North Africa."
With over 15 years of experience, Raed joins First Solar from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), where he was responsible for establishing the institution's successful Industry Collaboration Program (KICP). During his four year stint at KAUST, he also created a demonstration and testing program for solar and other clean energy technologies. Prior to that he was part of the core team behind Direct Drive Systems, a US-based start-up that was acquired by an oil and gas major, and previously spent eight years in various roles at Siemens. Raed holds a Ph.D. and a Master of Science (MS) in Electrical Engineering from the Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Jordan.
"First Solar has an excellent track record in combining innovation and technology to remain at the leading edge of the solar energy industry," Raed Bkayrat said. "I look forward to contributing towards its efforts to enable the growth and development of a viable solar market in Saudi Arabia."
Ahmed joined First Solar from General Electric in January 2013 and was tasked with leading the company's business development efforts across the Middle East, excluding Saudi Arabia. As VP of Business Development for the MENA region, he will now also be responsible for a number of fast-growing markets, including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt, in addition to his existing remit.
"As a company, First Solar is focused on partnering with the region to develop solar power into a sustainable, viable and affordable energy resource," Ahmed S. Nada said. "With rapid growth expected in North Africa, we are keen to leverage our expertise and experience in order to help the region progress its solar ambitions."
About First Solar, Inc.
First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its advanced thin-film modules. The company's integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar's renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, please visit www.firstsolar.com.
For First Solar Investors
This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Those statements involve a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including risks associated with the company's business involving the company's products, their development and distribution, economic and competitive factors and the company's key strategic relationships and other risks detailed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. First Solar assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein.
First Solar Global Communications
+1 (602) 427-3359
First Solar EMEA Communications
+971 (0)50 4367 158
+1 602 414-9315
+1 602 414-9315
SOURCE: First Solar, Inc.