May 7, 2019 / 4:41 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-CEO of wind turbine maker Vestas to step down

(Adds detail, background)

COPENHAGEN, May 7 (Reuters) - Vestas Chief Executive Anders Runevad will step down in August and be replaced by Henrik Andersen, CEO of coatings company Hempel and already a board member at the Danish wind turbine maker.

The shift in management announced on Tuesday is in keeping with the company’s long-term succession planning, Vestas said.

Andersen will take the helm at a time when Vestas, which bounced back from the brink of bankruptcy in 2012, is facing pressure on prices of turbines as subsidies taper off and governments opt for more competitive contract tenders.

Outgoing Runevad is part of a Swedish trio - along with Chairman Bert Nordberg and finance chief Marika Fredriksson - that has turned Vestas around and cut costs to lift the company’s operating margin to industry-leading levels.

“After completing the turnaround, implementing our profitable growth strategy and bringing wind energy on par with fossil fuel, Vestas and the industry have entered a new phase and I believe this is the right time for me to step down,” Runevad said in a statement.

Runevad, who has been CEO since 2013, will stay on as an adviser until mid-2020 and remain chairman of its MHI Vestas offshore wind venture in partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Reporting by Stine Jacobsen Editing by David Goodman

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