Luis Sabate is an accomplished Executive Vice President, Chief Operations and Financial Officer, with nearly 2 decades of global success within the renewables energy, engineering, consulting, and manufacturing industries. Educated as an Engineer, and leveraging extensive international and domestic Operations and Finance leadership, Luis has the ability to evaluate operational requirements and translate results to a financial blueprint. His unique combination of technical knowhow and business acumen enable Luis’ expertise across advanced accrual, forecasting, and all aspects of business development. He has project managed the construction of multi-million power facilities and manufacturing plants in the US, Spain, Italy, UK, India, South Africa, China, Chile, Brazil and Mexico and traveled the globe to acquire pre-IPO portfolio additions. His areas of specialization include business unit startup, P&L, M&A, IPO’s, turnaround, due diligence, regulatory compliance, asset management, process improvements, complex problem solving, value-add initiatives, service delivery, and customer experience.
Currently, Luis is the Chief Operating Officer of NEXTracker, a Flex Company where he is a key member of the executive team managing the strategy and operations of the tracker supply market leader worldwide.
Formerly Luis was the Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Operations Officer of the C&I Division for SunEdison, San Francisco. Luis took the role in 2016, following SunEdison’s Chapter 11 filing, to lead the spin-off of the C&I business unit. Already, he has implemented extensive process improvement initiatives and changes to the business model and personnel retention policies, directed due diligence processes and external negotiations, and successfully achieved the business preservation objective.
As SVP of Business Operations / COO C&I Division from 2015 to 2016, Luis led the turnaround of the C&I business unit, achieving a $1 billion P&L with 20% gross margin within six months, well ahead of forecast, and generating $100 million in cash flow. He developed and implemented strategies to upgrade business processes and restructure teams, implementing a work culture of execution and accountability. He reduced headcount by one third, streamlined operations, and reclaimed profitability for the division.
In the role of SVP Business integration from 2014 to 2015, Luis was an integral member of the M&A transaction teams responsible for the enablement of Terraform Global IPO, analyzing global investments for possible addition to the company energy technologies portfolio. He established and led the Integration Team responsible for the acquired companies’ integration after transaction close.
From 2013 to 2015, in the role of COO EMEA & Latam, Luis collaborated with the President of the Region to manage the P&L and worked closely with sub-regional General Managers to oversee the startup of an $800 million business unit generating over $150 million in cash flow. He established the Operations Team, recognized by peers and colleagues as one of the best in the industry, and oversaw the Asset Management Team. Luis held full accountability for technical and acquisitions decisions, supporting the Project Finance Teams, and overseeing projects up to Commercial Operations date.
Luis served as Head of Operations EMEA, Latam & North Asia from 2010 to 2013, managing the Operations Team and playing an integral role in the Executive Team. He established Asset Management and O&M Teams across the region and introduced Lean Manufacturing techniques for the construction and supply chain. Luis was a member of the first team to build a 70MWdc plant in Europe and the largest PV plant in the world at 100MWdc. This project was completed in record time and well ahead of schedule.
In the position of Expansion Program Manager with BP Solar Espana, SAU from 2007 to 2010, Luis led the $70 million Expansion Program including site strategy development and implementation, multi-level and cross-functional team structuring and management, and program development. He achieved 10% cost savings through acceleration in product lines in Stage I of the strategy implementation, and he developed and rolled out an incentive program to encourage employees to identify and implement cost reductions, process improvements, and optimization techniques.
From 2003 to 2007, Luis was tenured as Project Director / Department Manager with Seridom SA, responsible for the establishment of the company’s Madrid offices and overseeing proposal preparation and contract negotiations for multiple turnkey projects. Projects completed included a $65 million Biofuels plant, a 10 MWe Trigeneration Power Plant, an unsaturated polyresins plant, and an 80 MW PV silicon wafers manufacturing plant.
As Senior Project Manager for Ingenieria Idom International SA from 2000 to 2003, Luis managed proposal and contract negotiations, technical advisory and supervision, and client relationships. He oversaw numerous engineering projects including a $6 million in engineering fees 400 MWe Combine Cycle Power Plant (youngest ever engineering project manager); liquid ink factory; and enlargement of an aerospace manufacturing facility.
Luis was located in Brazil for the Brazil Office Launch, Rio de Janeiro & Sao Paulo from 1999 to 2000, establishing the startup Brazilian offices and responsible for office layout, infrastructure development, team recruitment and training. He managed the first projects including proposal and contract negotiations, client relationships, regulatory compliance, and technical direction.
From 2000 to 2003 Luis held the title of Project Manager and was responsible for projects for clients within the Spanish energy sector including ENI AGIP ESPAÑA, EXXON ESSO ESPAÑOLA, REPSOL, CAMPSA Y PETRONOR, Enagas, Gas Natural and SICPA ESPAÑA.
Luis served as Chairman of the Capital Commitment Committee for SunEdison. He is professionally affiliated with IESE Business School and the Spanish Engineering Association.
A practiced speaker, Luis’s presentations include the Chilean Solar Conference & Exhibition, Santiago de Chile; PV Insider LATAM Conference, Santiago de Chile; PV Balance of System Conference & Exhibition, Berlin and PV Financing & Investment, London on the topic of PV Solar Financing. He is proficient in English, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.
He attained his MS in Industrial Engineering from the Universidad Pontifica Comillas in 1997 and gained a PDD in General Management from IESE Business School in 2008. Additionally, Luis graduated from Centro de Estudios Financieros in Madrid in 2001 with an MS in Health and Safety.