19 okt Pioneering CEO Leen Zevenbergen leaves Solarus after leading the company since December 2013
VENLO – September, 19, 2018 – After a period of more than 4 years leading Solarus, the role of Leen Zevenbergen in the management board of the company ended per July 2018. The company acknowledges him for his pioneering leadership in the funding, market and technology development of the company. In April 2018 Zevenbergen already handed over the CEO position to Jacko D’Agnolo who was COO at that time. He did this after a request from the Supervisory Board of the company to map the potential for Solarus in North and South America. With a small team Zevenbergen conducted an extensive market scan and before the summer he presented his go to market plans to the Supervisory Board who recently decided to postpone the development of the Americas market. Upon this decision it was mutually agreed that Zevenbergen was released from his leadership role. Zevenbergen will stay involved as a shareholder in the company.
Göran Lundgren, Chairman of the Supervisory Board during Zevenbergen acting as CEO, speaks on behalf of all shareholders as he says: “We are very grateful for the way Leen Zevenbergen has led the company to where it is now. It was his belief and energy that inspired customers, employees and investors to commit themselves to this unique company.”
Zevenbergen took the lead as CEO of the company in December 2013 when the company urgently needed to make a turnaround in funding, marketing and technology development. He immediately saw the potential of the Solarus hybrid solar technology and at the same time he realized that it was as he calls it ‘a bleeding edge technology’. “It is in these first difficult years where I can add value to a company with a disruptive new technology. Building up the story, getting people on board to substantiate and to fund it, that’s my game,” says Zevenbergen.
During his leadership Zevenbergen constantly was able to find funding for the turnaround from early investors, two crowd funding campaigns and finally, from a number of larger investors. The company also scaled up from a Proof of Concept production into a fully automated production facility as the company moved from the R&D centre in Gävle, Sweden to its actual production plant in Venlo, Netherlands. And over the last 4 years markets where developed with presence and partnerships in Europe, South-Africa and India. International hotel chains, production companies and real estate developers applied the Solarus PowerCollectors. This all happened simultaneously with the development of the core technologies of Solarus which was strongly supported by an Eureka EuroStars grant that the company won in 2015.
Zevenbergen states: “Sometimes the opinion and gut feeling of an entrepreneur do not coincide with the thoughts and views of the Supervisory Board. The development of the Americas offered a big potential for the company, but we could not get our visions aligned. That means it is time for me to leave the company in the hands of others.”