December 19, 2019: Industrial battery manufacturer Sunlight Batteries, a member of the Greek multinational Group Olympia, has made sweeping management changes on top of a $6.5 million spend on its first North American facility.
The changes signal a shift in focus to lithium battery technology, although the company says its new plant, in North Carolina, will assemble and distribute both lead and lithium batteries for traction, standby and defence applications.
Two weeks after the company said it was setting up the plant — planning for which had been going on for a long time — it announced CEO Vasilis Billis is to step down, although he remains on the board of Olympia subsidiary company Play, a mobile phone firm.
He leaves Sunlight after six and half years and will be replaced for a transition period by Robby Bourlas, Olympia Group CEO and a member of the Sunlight board.
“At the same time the company proceeds with its structural changes concerning its organization, as well as the organization of its production with the objective to focus on its strategic priority relating to the ever-growing technologies of lithium batteries, targeting a leading position on the global scale,” said the firm.
Other changes include the appointment of Foad Derisavi to the management team to take on the production and development of lithium products and advanced technologies. His brief is to help Sunlight to expand lithium batteries for industrial use in international markets, the firm says.
Also taking on more of a role in the lithium battery sphere is the existing head of the recycling division, Spiros Kopolas, who assumes the duties of business development for lithium battery applications, “aiming to further expand the prospects of Sunlight via partnerships on a global scale,” the company says.
Finally, Vassilis Gavroglou will join the management team as director of human resources.
In December 2018, Sunlight announced plans to almost double its production of lead-acid batteries at its plant in Xanthi, Greece to 3.5 million cells a year, which would make it the largest lead-acid battery plant in Europe.
The expansion was enabled following a €12.5 million ($13.9 million) loan from the European Investment Bank.