Power operator Innogy SE has named Hans Bunting as its interim Chief Financial Officer, following an attack on CFO Bernhard Guenther on Sunday.
Bernhard was walking in a park in Haan when two men threw a corrosive substance into his face. He is reported as being in stable condition.
Authorities have not stated definitively why Bernhard was attacked, though Germany’s domestic security agency has suggested it might be connected to a long-running battle between Innogy’s parent company, RWE, and environmentalists.
“This cowardly act has shocked us all,” Innogy board chair Erhard Schipporeit said. “We wish Bernhard Günther all the best and a quick recovery. Our thoughts are with him and his family.”
Innogy is a renewables developer with a 500-MW fleet of hydropower spread across Europe. RWE, however, has feuded with environmental groups for years over its open-pit coal mining practices.
In fact, Sunday’s acid attack was not Bernhard’s first. The executive was previously beaten several years ago, according to the German Press Agency, and authorities are investigating any connections between the incidents.
Innogy has not speculated as to when it expects Bernhard could return, but said the appointment of Bunting will allow “the company to remain fully functional”.