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Solar Exec Shuffle: SunPower, National Semiconductor

Written by Jennifer Kho

The greentech industry appears to be undergoing a round of corporate shuffle, according to several announcements about new executives in the last week.

In perhaps the most talked-about change, Tesla Motors last week switched out its chief executive, Ze'ev Drori, for the company chairman, PayPal [a division of eBay (EBAY)] founder and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

While personnel changes and new hires are nothing new, this current crop of announcements seems heavier than usual. Could the increase be a sign of things to come as companies position themselves to succeed in a weakened economy?

In another example, solar-panel manufacturer SunPower Corp. (SPWRA) named Dennis V. Arriola as its chief financial officer and senior vice president.

Arriola -- who plans to work with the current chief financial officer, Manny Hernandez, until he retires in January -- previously held the same positions at San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas Co.

Meanwhile, Aaron Thurlow, who was a regional sales manager for SunPower Corp., told Greentech Media on Thursday that he left the company to become the global sales channel manager for National Semiconductor Corp.'s (NSM) renewable energy segment.

The large power-management semiconductor company in July announced it was bringing a new chip-based technology -- called SolarMagic -- to the market that could potentially increase the amount of electricity that solar panels can produce by up to 50 percent.

Stock quotes in this article: SPWRA, NSM, EBAY 

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