Vicente López-Ibor Mayor will now head up Lightsource BP’s social and philanthropic foundation following seven years as chairman of Lightsource. Image: Lightsource BP.

The chairman of Lightsource has stepped down from his post following the recent merger with BP, claiming he felt it was the right time to relinquish his duties to the new management team.

Vicente López-Ibor Mayor served as chairman for almost eight years, during which time the company grew from a start-up with six employees to, according to the newly named Lightsource BP, the largest solar energy company in Europe.

A statement released by the company said: “It is with regret that we announce Vicente López-Ibor Mayor is to stand down as chairman of Lightsource. His contribution has been invaluable to Lightsource's remarkable growth guiding the company since inception to its historic recent partnership with BP.”

During Mayor's tenure, Lightsource grew to over 300 employees, deployed billions of pounds in solar PV projects, and developed over 1.3GW of solar energy. It now operates just under 2GW of solar PV across Europe. It has also expanded into regions like the USA and India where the development and funding of large-scale solar assets is underway.

Last month, BP acquired a 43% stake in the company to form a strategic partnership and ‘supercharge’ the firm’s international ambitions. The deal, worth £148 million over three years, has seen the company renamed and will grant BP two seats on Lightsource's board of directors.

According to Mayor, this signified the company has reached the point at which he could step back from his responsibilities as chairman.

“As co-founder and chairman of Lightsource, I felt I had a responsibility to reinforce Lightsource strategically to a point where it was a leader in the solar industry with a great leadership team, an established infrastructure, solid financial foundations and a clear vision for the future. After last week's merger with BP, we have truly reached that point,” he said.

“That is why I felt it was the right time to relinquish my role as chairman and entrust Lightsource, with absolute confidence, to CEO Nick Boyle and the Lightsource BP team to continue navigating the company to greater success.”

Speaking about Mayor’s role in the company, Boyle said: “Lightsource has come such a long way under your chairmanship from the early days of living out of suitcases and our tiny temporary office in Hanover Square.

“We have truly built an operation to be proud of, creating Europe's largest solar business in just seven short years. Your hard work, very positive outlook and invaluable sector advice has steered this Company to where it is today.”

The former commissioner of Spain's National Energy Commission will remain within the wider company, taking up the chairmanship of the Lightsource Foundation.

“Harnessing the power of solar to create social innovation and transformation is at the centre of the Lightsource vision. Being at the helm of the Lightsource Foundation will enable me to bring the company's social and philanthropic work to life during one of solar energy's most disruptive and transformational eras; a role that I am passionate about and very much looking forward to,” he said of the role.

Mayor added: “I would like to thank all Lightsource employees for the tremendous job they have done and for helping bring Lightsource to this new exciting chapter in its journey. I would also like to remember all the founder members of Lightsource and specially mention Alexandre Diez for his continuous effort during these last few years.”