Wyrsch on Vestas' future, its Pearl HQ, and why she's staying in Portland
By Erik Siemers
Vestas Americas President Martha Wyrsch will leave the company in December, but says she plans to stay in Portland to pursue other opportunities.
The uncertain fate of the federal Production Tax Credit has slammed the breaks on Vestas' fastest growing market. The company is closing research and development centers across the U.S. It’s announced that thousands of layoffs are still to come next year.
Yet Martha Wyrsch, the outgoing president of Portland-based Vestas Americas, believes the Danish wind turbine giant will one day emerge from this economic malaise and have, in her words, a “bright future.”
Wyrsch will depart Vestas in December after arriving three and a half years ago from Houston-based Spectra Energy Corp. Portland, though, isn’t losing the energy industry veteran, who lives here now with her husband and 17-year-old daughter.
As she puts it: “We really love Portland.”
Erik Siemers: When you came to Vestas, the market was in flux, then returned, and now is in flux again. Now Vestas’ challenges appear even greater. Did this influence your decision to leave?
Martha Wyrsch: No, it really didn’t. The company has had an amazing run in North America over the last three years. I feel proud to be a part of it. We took advantage of opportunities out there. We built relationships with customers and focused on new products and put ourselves in a position to win a very significant piece of the market share.
That’s held us in very good stead.
I’ve been around the block a few times and companies go through ups and downs. This industry has been on a roller coast in many ways because the Production Tax Credit bringing such uncertainty to the equation. The extension of the credit, which has been a semi-annual event, has not lent itself to the business case certainty and decision making for customers.
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