Ørsted reshuffles management team after US projects put on hold

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Ørsted has renewed its top management as the world’s largest offshore wind developer seeks to restore investor confidence after abandoning projects in the US and slashing the value of its portfolio.

The Danish group announced on Tuesday that Daniel Lerup, chief financial officer, and Richard Hunter, chief operating officer, would be leaving the company with immediate effect.

Mads Nipper, Ørsted’s chief executive since 2021, said the company needed “new and different skills”.

Following the restructuring, Rasmus Errboe, managing director of the European business, will serve as interim chief financial officer. Ørsted board member Andrew Brown will become interim chief operating officer.

Offshore wind developers, hailed as the answer to global warming, have been hit by supply chain disruptions, rising costs and higher interest rates over the past two years. America’s fledgling industry, in which Ørsted is the largest player, faces particularly big challenges.

RBC analysts welcomed the management changes, noting that “a difficult period for Ørsted culminates in the company taking a new direction with two senior members of the management team.”

Nipper acknowledged earlier this month that the writedowns would damage investor confidence. The rating agency S&P then set the group’s long-term rating to “Credit Watch Negative”.

Separately, Ørsted also pulled out of offshore wind development in Norway this week to streamline its portfolio, Reuters reported.

Ørsted has particular exposure in the US, where the company has expanded aggressively to transform itself from an oil and gas company into a major renewable energy company.

Shares in the group, majority owned by the Danish government, have fallen about 55 percent this year and were little changed in early trading on Tuesday.

The company is expected to decide later this year whether to give the final green light to its large offshore wind project in the North Sea.

Olly Dawes

Olly Dawes is a Nytimas U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Olly Dawes joined Nytimas in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: ollydawes@nytimas.com.

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