Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board
Guido Polko assumed the Chairman of the Board seat of Nanosolar in March 2012. He brings more than 25 years of leadership and achievements as an entrepreneur, sales- and managing executive in developing high tech ventures and markets in Europe, Asia and USA. He has focused the past three years on scouting private equity placement and venture capital opportunities in the areas of alternative energy, energy efficiency, renewable energy storage, and electronic vehicles (EVs) as an angel investor and on behalf of a European Family Office. As part of these activities he continues to grow his powerful network of industry and government contacts in the Californian and U.S. energy markets.
Prior to deepening his investment focus in the area of renewable energy, he served as Attensity Group’s Chief Strategic Officer, which he co-founded, and where he oversaw operations in all global regions focused on continuously calibrating the group’s strategic directions while also leading global M&A initiatives. In 2010, Guido was instrumental in merging Living-e, Inc. and Empolis GmbH into the Attensity Group, which has since grown to a 300+ employee software company. Guido founded WebEdition Software GmbH in 2003 which later became Living-e AG, which he led as CEO and took public in Germany in 2006. Subsequently, he established Living-e, Inc. in San Francisco, where he also served as CEO. His past roles also include numerous board member seats and managing director positions at public and privately held technology companies and venture capital firms. Guido holds a MBA equivalent degree from the University of Duisburg-Essen and studied Business Administration and Economics at the University of Toronto.
Chief Executive Officer
Karl Steigele joined Nanosolar in September 2012 as the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer and now serves as the company’s Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining Nanosolar, Steigele was founder and president of Steigele Consulting, Inc., a management consulting firm focused on helping companies to prepare and execute their growth strategies. Mr. Steigele brings close to four decades of international management and consulting experience having been engaged to drive complex organizational and technology-driven change programs and business process improvement projects at Fortune 500 clients including Intel, Hitachi, ABB, Thomson, Siemens, Sony, and McKesson among others, while serving as a senior consultant at IBM Global Services. Karl started his long and rewarding career at IBM where he was plant manager for close to seven years of an IBM printed circuit board plant in Germany. Mr. Steigele holds a German university degree comparable to a Bachelor degree in Production Engineering from the University of Applied Science Heilbronn, Germany, and he earned a Toolmaker degree at the then Daimler-Benz AG (Mercedes).
Rhea J. Hamilton
Executive Director, aeris CAPITAL
Prior to joining Aeris, Ms. Hamilton was an investment director at SAM Private Equity, part of the greater Rabobank Group. In this position, she built and managed a portfolio of cleantech related direct investments across diverse geographies, also serving as a board member or observer for six portfolio companies, on the advisory board of several funds, and an advisor for the European Sustainable Energy Technology Fund. Ms. Hamilton came from Royal Dutch Shell, where she held various director-level positions including acting CFO of Shell Hydrogen, and leading Investor Relations for Shell’s global oil and gas Exploration and Production business.
Ms. Hamilton began her career with Shell Canada Ltd., where she worked in Exploration and Production oriented deal teams. She holds a Geological Engineering degree with a specialisation in Geophysics, from the University of British Columbia, Canada, an international MBA from IESE in Barcelona, Spain, and a diploma from the Institute of Directors (IoD) in the UK. She has published several articles in scientific journals as part of her scientific work in Antarctica.
Erik Oldekop leads aeris CAPITAL`s renewable energy investment practice. aeris CAPITAL is a Swiss private investment office, advising a high net worth individual and his foundation, one of Germany’s largest charitable foundations. aeris CAPITAL is active in all asset classes, globally. Operating from a sustainable asset base, with a long-term investment horizon, aeris strives to achieve the highest quality standards in all its investment activities, while delivering superior, risk-adjusted returns. Before joining aeris, Erik was the general manager for Europe of a U.S. solar panel manufacturer. Starting in 1997, Oldekop worked as an investment professional at Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Tokyo and San Francisco. He holds a PhD in Semiconductor Physics from Hahn Meitner Institute, Berlin.