First Solar announces restructuring
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
First Solar said Tuesday it is restructuring and laying off 2,000 workers.
First Solar said Tuesday it is restructuring and laying off 2,000 workers in reaction to what the company called “a new market reality” for solar.
The company said dwindling subsidies in Europe, as well as a global oversupply in solar panels, prompted the restructuring.
First Solar said it would close two manufacturing plants in Frankfurt Oder, and lay off 1,200 workers there. In addition, 150 sales and service positions will be eliminated in Europe. Some 550 positions will be eliminated from a Malaysian manufacturing facility, where four production lines out of 24 will be shut down.
Headcount in the United States will be reduced by less than 10 percent, the company said. First Solar has a 150-person office in Oakland, and its headquarters is in Tempe, Ariz.
“To grow profitably, we must evolve and change. We are taking actions to reduce our cost structure, strengthen our balance sheet and establish a production profile that will closely align with demand that we are highly competent in,” said First Solar CFO Mark Widmar, according to the transcript of the conference call held Tuesday morning. “These actions will enable us to endure the current turbulence and emerge stronger and better able to build and serve our future markets.”
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