Denmark's Vestas replaces embattled CEO Engel

Ulrik Jantzen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Denmark's Vestas has dismissed Chief Executive Ditlev Engel, who has come under increasing pressure after several profit warnings bruised investor confidence in the wind turbine manufacturer.

Engel, who has been with the company since 2005, has struggled to turn around its flagging fortunes, which had earlier prompted the departure of the company's chief financial officer and chairman, as well as legal action from private investors seeking compensation.

The company said that Engel's departure is at the board's request and that he will be replaced by Anders Runevad, a long-serving executive at Swedish mobile network gearmaker Ericsson.

Vestas shares jumped by more than 11 percent in early trade and were up 7 percent at 7:20 a.m. London time, against a 0.6 percent rise in the Copenhagen stock exchange's benchmark index.

At the start of the year, Engel had offered some hope that his turnaround plan was beginning to bear fruit, with the company flagging an improvement in profitability this year as it posted a rise in fourth-quarter profit and revenue.

That hope was reinforced in May when it stood by its outlook for the full year after reduced cost and higher turbine prices helped it to cut operating losses by more than 50 percent and improve cashflow in the first quarter.

Chief Financial Officer Marika Fredriksson will assume the positions of acting group president and chief executive until Runevad takes over on Sept. 1.

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