Daqo New Energy’s CEO Gongda Yao leaves the company

Daqo New Energy's CEO Gongda Yao
Gongda Yao served as Daqo New Energy’s CEO from July 2008 through December 2017 – Image/Logo: Daqo New Energy

Chinese polysilicon and wafer producer Daqo New Energy Corp. has announced that Dr. Gongda Yao (59) will step down as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with immediate effect for personal reasons.

“Now as the company has been performing very well both operationally and financially, I think it's time for me to step down from my position and spend more time with my family and pursue personal interests,” Yao was quoted in a press release of the company.

Yao will remain a non-executive member of the Board of Directors until March 31, 2018 to allow for a seamless leadership transition. Guangfu Xu, the company’s founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors, will act as executive Chairman and acting chief executive officer in the interim period.

Yao became Daqo New Energy’s CEO in July 2008 when the company started pilot production of polysilicon in Chongqing in southwest China. In 2012 Daqo relocated polysilicon production to Shihezi in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, where electricity rates are very low. Under Yao’s leadership, Daqo has evolved into the lowest-cost producer of high-quality polysilicon.

Update on January 16:

Only eight days after announcing the departure of its CEO, Daqo has appointed Longgen Zhang (53) as successor.

Zhang was the Chief Financial Officer of the leading Chinese wafer, cell and module manufacturer JinkoSolar from 2008 to 2014; after that, he served as a director at Jinko and ZZ Capital International.

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