* Milner says 2009 results led to loss of confidence
* Says it is in best interest of company to step down
* First major casualty in solar sector bloodbath
* Nedim Cen to take over as CEO, remains CFO
* Shares down 3.4 pct after falling as much as 5.4 pct
(Adds quotes from new CEO; background; updates shares)
By Christoph Steitz
FRANKFURT, March 11 Q-Cells Chief Executive
Anton Milner quit on Thursday, taking responsibility for a
record 2009 loss and paving the way for a quicker restructuring
at the struggling solar cell maker.
"The dramatically weak 2009 figures have led to a huge loss
of confidence, above all in the capital market," Milner, one of
the four co-founders of Q-Cells QCEG.DE and a former McKinsey
management consultant, said on Thursday.
"In this situation, it is in the best interest of the
company, which I have been helping to set up, to step down from
my post," he said.
Q-Cells shares fell 3.4 percent to 7.348 euros by 1409 GMT
after plunging as much as 5.4 percent on the news,
underperforming the FTSE cleantech index .FTET50 that stood
0.3 percent lower.
Analysts heavily criticised Q-Cells' performance last year,
when it lost 1.36 billion euros ($1.84 billion) amid hefty
writedowns and ceded its place as the world's biggest maker of
solar cells to U.S. peer First Solar (FSLR.O).
Now the world's No.4 solar cell maker, Q-Cells has been
battered by a crisis in the solar sector, hit by falling prices
and industry overcapacities that led the company to slash about
a fifth of its workforce. [ID:nLC338754]
Q-Cells also lost credibility in the market for slashing its
2009 sales outlook three times within less than six months.
Nedim Cen, who is taking on Milner's role in addition to his
job as chief financial officer, said that the company was not
planning to chop additional jobs. [ID:nWEB5203]
"With Nedim Cen, the company has named as CEO a professional
who is experienced in restructuring measures," said SES Research
analyst Karsten von Blumenthal, citing his experience as
managing director at restructuring consultancy Alvarez & Marsal.
Cen became CFO at Q-Cells in the middle of last year,
replacing Hartmut Schuening. [ID:nLH270806]
Cen said he would give more details about restructuring
measures -- that also see Q-Cells streamlining its business and
divesting non-core assets -- at its annual news conference on
(Editing by David Cowell)