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Lightyear CEO Hoefsloot hands over the wheel

Nieke Roos
Leestijd: 2 minuten

Lightyear has appointed Bonna Newman as its new CEO. She’s succeeding company founder Lex Hoefsloot, who’s shifting his focus to the longer-term potential of the Helmond-based automotive startup. With Marnix Borghouts, the new CEO will also find a new CFO at her side. The leadership change comes as the Amsterdam district court is concluding its investigation into the dealings of Lightyear’s management in the run-up to the bankruptcy.

Lightyear, which relaunched at the start of last year, initially didn’t want to give up the dream of its own solar car. Gradually, however, the focus shifted to producing solar roofs for other car manufacturers. It now aims to offer its on-board solar charging system technology to the entire passenger car market. Newman’s extensive network, knowledge and expertise in the solar and vehicle-integrated PV sector will be valuable for maximizing impact. The new CEO holds a PhD in physics from MIT and has worked throughout the PV sector for almost two decades, including at ECN and TNO.

Lightyear has appointed Bonna Newman and Marnix Borghouts as its new CEO and CFO, respectively. Credit: Lightyear

Borghouts started his career as an accountant at KPMG. The new CFO is an operational finance executive with over thirty years of global experience in a variety of industries. According to Lightyear, he has a track record on growth and turnaround, compliance and delivering trust to both external and internal stakeholders, bringing in-depth and hands-on skills for growth, corporate finance and strategy.

“I have great confidence in Bonna’s and Marnix’s leadership. Their combined skillset is exactly what the company needs right now,” comments Hoefsloot. “As Lightyear is becoming more mature and shifts toward scaling of the on-board solar technology, my skills are best put to use in a different role within the company. I will focus on getting more of our automotive technology IP stack onto the market and find the right partners to execute on the commercial potential of the Lightyear vehicle.”

The investigation into the pre-bankruptcy dealings was requested by Maarten van Ingen, one of the court-appointed trustees. In particular, he’s seeking clarity on whether Lightyear acted responsibly regarding the spending of an 180-million-euro investment, partly originating from public funds. The verdict is expected te come in on 18 January.

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