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SunEdison CEO resigns amid bankruptcy

SunEdison CEO resigns amid bankruptcy
SunEdison said it will not give severance payments to ex-CEO Ahmad Chatila. (PRNewsFoto/SunEdison)

After months of turmoil at SunEdison Inc., during which the big developer of renewable energy projects, once a Wall Street darling, plunged into bankruptcy, Chief Executive Ahmad Chatila has resigned.

Chatila stepped down Wednesday and was succeeded by John Dubel, SunEdison's chief restructuring officer, the company confirmed.

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As the company moves through the Chapter 11 process, "our priority is to focus on SunEdison's core strengths and work to create a more streamlined and efficient operator better positioned and more appropriately capitalized for a competitive future," Dubel, who has been with the company only since April, said in a statement.

According to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Chatila will not receive severance payments and his resignation had nothing to do with any disagreements with the company.

For more than a decade, Missouri-based SunEdison — whose solar headquarters are in Silicon Valley — dominated the business of developing, financing, building and operating renewable energy projects for companies, institutions and utilities.

But by March 22, when news broke that the company was in talks to restructure its debt, shares had plunged 95% from their 52-week high. The company also came under scrutiny from the Department of Justice and Securities Exchange Commission over questions surrounding its financial practices and the amount of cash it had on hand when its stock began to fall.

In April, SunEdison announced that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Michael Morosi, a senior research analyst at Avondale Partners, said he thinks this week's change in leadership will simply help SunEdison go through bankruptcy more smoothly.

"At this point it's not as much of a question of business strategy as it is with the assets moving through the bankruptcy process," he said.

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