Carlos Guinand is an entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Sonnedix, an international renewable energy producer. He has been instrumental in setting the company’s strategic direction and growth while overseeing its governance and performance through his expertise in international governance and operational matters. Carlos also chairs the Performance Committee and the Human Resources and Compensation Committee.
Sonnedix was founded in 2009 as a small player in the nascent solar industry. Under his leadership, the company entered a partnership with J.P. Morgan Asset Management in 2014. Sonnedix has over $8 billion dollars in assets, a total capacity of over 8GW across ten countries with over 500 operating power plants.
Carlos has been fundamental in establishing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles for Sonnedix and has guided the company’s entry into new energy markets. His deep knowledge of the renewable energy industry, international business acumen, and keen capacity to anticipate market trends, has also helped Sonnedix deliver high-performance, cost-competitive, renewable energy technologies to many countries around the world.
In 2022, Carlos was appointed Chairman of Ventient Energy. With 2.8 gigawatts of wind generation across six countries, Ventient is one the leading independent generators of renewable energy in Europe and a sector leader in ESG. Ventient is owned by institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
Over the course of his career, Carlos has gained wide-ranging expertise across industries including the solar sector and has had significant experience managing a portfolio of private equity investments in South America and Europe.
Axel Thiemann became CEO of Sonnedix in September 2018 after serving as a member of the senior leadership team and Board of Directors. Since joining Sonnedix in 2011, Axel has played a fundamental role in its evolution, initially based in London, as COO with responsibility for Asset Management, Finance, HR and E&C, and more recently based in Miami, overseeing M&A, integration and strategy during a four year period when the company experienced five-fold growth.
Prior to joining Sonnedix, Axel spent seven years in banking and held various senior roles with Barclays Bank in London. Before this he was a consultant with McKinsey and Company in Cologne, Germany. Axel graduated as an Electrical Engineer from Hannover University in Germany and holds an MBA from IESE Business School, Spain.
To Axel, the most special thing about Sonnedix is its team of bright and passionate people across four continents that have come together to create a sustainable future for the world.
Mel Rowlands joined Sonnedix in June 2023 as General Counsel.
Mel is responsible for all things legal, compliance, regulatory, and ESG related across the business The Legal and Compliance function business partners with Sonnedix colleagues and our various stakeholders to fuel the growth whilst also protecting Sonnedix long term value and reputation by ensuring appropriate management of legal risk. On SLT Mel leads on our ethical culture and values of always doing the right thing. She is also the Corporate Secretary to the Sonnedix Board of directors and supports our Chairman in that respect.
Mel holds a degree from Oxford University and has over 25 years of experience as a business lawyer. She qualified with a City law firm as a mergers and acquisitions specialist and has worked as an in house lawyer for many years. She has worked in both public and privately owned international businesses and has experience of multiple sectors including oil and gas and energy, industrial gases, semiconductors, aviation and medtec. She also has for many years led large international teams including legal, compliance, regulatory, hr, health & safety and government affairs.
Throughout her career Mel has been a member of executive teams leading change and has worked on a number of transformational projects such as public company mergers, demergers and listings. She is also experienced at working with public and private company Boards.
For the last ten years Mel has worked at Smiths Group - a FTSE100 technology group – where she held the role of Group General Counsel. She most recently led its response to the covid crisis coordinating across 5 business divisions whilst also supporting the UK government’s ventilator challenge. She also delivered the $2.7b sale of Smiths’ medical division whilst concurrently preparing it for demerger and a separate listing on the UK Stock Exchange.
Mel is proud to join Sonnedix and contribute, with her experience and her passion towards sustainability and the energy transition, to the company’s purpose of powering a bright future. She is also passionate about equity, diversity, inclusion, and social mobility and is looking forward to working with the rest of Sonnedix on its plans in this regard.
Juan Fernandez (Juanma) joined Sonnedix's leadership in 2023 as Chief Operating Officer. In his role, Juanma is accountable and responsible for the overall performance of the company's operating portfolio from an operational, asset management and commercial perspective.
Juanma joined Sonnedix back in 2017, when Sonnedix started its fast expansion in Spain, triggered by the acquisition of a large portfolio of regulated assets. A native of Donostia in Spain, he has lived and worked across the United States and the United Kingdom, developing his career in the fields of semiconductor manufacturing at Lucent Technologies, and later photovoltaic product manufacturing at BP Solar. Throughout his professional life, Juanma has held leading positions of responsibility spanning through international jurisdictions in the field of technology development and transfer to manufacturing. While at BP Solar he was PV Technology Director responsible for the development and implementation into manufacturing of high efficiency PV components. Back in 2013 he became Head of Asset Management, EMEA for Sunedison managing the operating fleet of PV assets across the region. Joining Sonnedix, Juanma led the Asset Management team in Spain heading the operations of the assets in the country while actively supporting the growth of the portfolio implementing standards for thorough due diligence and onboarding through into operations. His success in implementing such standards and effectively working across all functions participating in the sustainable growth of Sonnedix, while embodying and role modelling its corporate values, has been instrumental in taking Juanma through to its current leadership position.
Juanma holds a Ph. D. from the University of California, San Diego in Applied Physics and has carried out research into advanced semiconductor materials at the department of Physics at Imperial College, London. Juanma brings into Sonnedix over 20 years of experience in the renewable energy sector with demonstrated breadth and depth spanning from PV component technology, through renewable asset operational optimization to effective technical and commercial asset management. He is passionate about renewable energy sustainable deployment, and he finds Sonnedix cultural values a source of continuous strength to continue building a singular working environment where people can excel beyond their limits while contributing to build a bright future for coming generations.
Maurizio Grassi was appointed Chief Growth Officer in July 2021. His responsibilities include driving the growth strategy, and identifying, evaluating and delivering development and acquisition opportunities across all of Sonnedix’s territories. Since joining Sonnedix in 2013, Maurizio has played a critical role in developing the company’s Puerto Rico and Italian operations, before leading the M&A team during a period of significant growth.
Prior to joining Sonnedix, Maurizio spent a year as CFO of Enerqos, an EPC and O&M Italian company. Other previous roles include two years as the Country Finance Manager, REC Systems Italy, with responsibility for all aspects of investment and finance for the EPC contractor, and the Chief Financial Officer for Enfinity Italia. As Managing Director of Soleasy Srl, Maurizio oversaw the development, financing and construction of small scale renewable projects, with a particular focus on the photovoltaic sector. Earlier in his career, Maurizio held senior commercial and business development roles at Cisco Systems and also worked in the banking sector.
Maurizio has a degree in Economics and Commerce from Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano, Italy and an MBA from University of Glasgow, UK. Maurizio is fluent in English, French and Italian.
Maurizio is proud to part of the Sonnedix leadership because of the energy, reliability and focus, shared with all colleagues, for making a positive difference to the world and achieving the company purpose of building a bright future.
Karen Boesen joined Sonnedix in August 2021 as Chief Financial Officer. In her role as CFO Karen is responsible for Finance, Tax, Project Finance, Financial Planning and Commercial/Power Marketing.
Prior to joining Sonnedix, Karen has spent more than 20 years in the Upstream Oil & Gas industry. She has latest been Country Manager for TotalEnergies’ operations in Myanmar and prior to that CFO for TotalEnergies’ UK businesses. Her experience also includes leading Strategy and M&A functions in Maersk Oil and DONG Energy, and she’s been in charge of several post-merger integration and change management projects. Karen is Danish of origin and is passionate about building and preserving a strong company culture, leading change, driving growth and the transition to renewables.
Karen holds a Master of Science in Business Administration and Commercial Law from Copenhagen Business School and has supplement her studies with strategy and leadership training at IMD.
Karen is proud to join the Sonnedix team with its strong culture and values, and excited to deploy her skills and experience in actively driving the energy transition by growing the Sonnedix portfolio of solar power producing plants to the benefit of its shareholders, team members, and the world in general.
Stephen Taylor joined Sonnedix in 2018 and was appointed Chief People Officer in July 2021. With extensive HR and interim experience gained working in dynamic, high growth environments, Stephen has previously held HR Director roles at The Notemachine Group, HS2, Worldpay, Camelot, the BBC and Barclays.
With over 30 years’ experience, Stephen’s expertise lies in strategic decision-making, business integration, mergers and acquisitions and facilitating the growth and journey of companies as they scale. In addition to an in-depth expertise in change management, his specialist skills span Employee Relations, Reward, Organisation Design and Resourcing.
Stephen’s key achievements include leading both functional change programmes and business wide change programmes across a significant number of businesses. He is passionate about maximising people’s potential and performance, from developing Board effectiveness programmes to acting as a coach and mentor to top talent. Stephen has introduced a variety of job evaluation schemes to support pay and reward, flex benefit schemes and sponsored Organisational Design and change programmes. Stephen has developed reward strategies for Barclays, Camelot, Worldpay and most recently HS2, in addition to designing retention plans, LTIP’s, bonus schemes and pay structures for numerous organisations.
Stephen has led a large number of business acquisitions and integrations, undertaking pre-acquisition due diligence. He has supported organisations through various stages of growth, including the construction and programme management business of HS2, where the Managing Director and he formed the construction organisation and grew it from 2 to 1,250 employees over 2 years. He integrated two BT businesses which delivered synergy savings of £35 million per annum, managed the HR and Change workstreams of the acquisition and integration of a large plc into Serco Group and the Woolwich Building Society integration into Barclays Bank. Most recently, Stephen led the integration of three mid-sized businesses with a combined workforce of 2,000 into the Notemachine Group.
Sonnedix Power Holdings Limited (collectively with its subsidiaries, “Sonnedix”) is majority owned by institutional investors, attesting to our company’s stability, value and long-term potential. We aim to grow sustainably and create value by leveraging our prudent capital structure and sponsorship and investing in high-quality assets with predictable cash flows. We are also continuously building and executing upon a pipeline of new projects and M&A opportunities.
Our Group’s parent company is Sonnedix Power Holdings. The Group prepares consolidated accounts under IFRS for this Group. Separately, the Group also prepares consolidated accounts for Sonnedix Italia SpA (Italy), VE Sonnedix Equityco, S.L (Spain), Sonnedix España Equityco, S.L.(Spain) and Sonnedix España Finance 2, S.L.(Spain) — these are available here on our website.
The Group has 4 publicly-listed bonds, which were used to finance assets in the abovementioned groups.