E.ON chairman Wulf Bernotat (60) announced to the surprise of shareholders at the company’s May 6 general assembly that he would not be available after his current term expires at the end of May 2010.

During his term Bernotat has in fact positioned E.ON AG as the largest privately owned European utility and has achieved an annual turnover that will probably exceed a threshhold of EUR1 trillion. In 2008 E.ON AG achieved a net profit of EUR5.6 billion, and in the next three years E.ON will invest about EUR10 billion. Nevertheless Bernotat, who is regarded as the strongest critic of the energy policy of the German government, doubts whether a 30% share of renewable energies in 2020 is possible (he favours 20 to 25% as maximum). Though a successor has not yet been nominated it is generally expected that the present vice chairman Johannes Teyssen will become the next chairman.

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