Wyrsch on Vestas' future, its Pearl HQ, and why she's staying in Portland
By Erik Siemers
Vestas Americas President Martha Wyrsch will leave the company in December, but says she plans to stay in Portland to pursue other opportunities.
We are going through a down cycle, there’s no doubt about it. This is an industry that’s been very resilient. When Vestas stepped back and looked at the landscape across the world, we saw a European economy that’s challenged, in the U.S. a relatively flat economy and uncertainty around decision making, we had to make some hard decisions that businesses need to make around our cost structure.
We significantly cut our costs and restructured our business. Certainly that restructuring gave me a chance to step back and see what I want to do next. That, more than anything, gave me the chance to step back and say, “What should I do?”
I accomplished nearly everything I set out to do with Vestas. The company was able to find a successor they feel is very strong. I haven’t met (new President Chris Brown, who arrives in December) yet and I’m looking forward to it.
We’ll have a chance to do a smooth handoff. That was important, not to leave things undone.
ES: What do you plan to do next?
MW: The first thing I did was promise my family I would take the month of December and take a little time off and enjoy the holidays.
I have a couple interesting opportunities I’m excited about and I can’t talk about them. Come early 2013 I’ll be pursuing those.
Our intent is to stay in Portland. We really love Portland. I have a sister who lives in Portland and brother up in Tacoma. It’s a real pleasure for us to be closer to family and living in such a beautiful and vibrant place.
ES: What would you describe as your biggest accomplishment in your three-and-a-half years with Vestas? How has the organization changed in that time?
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