Finance and Administration
Harry Shimp, Jr.
As an Operating Partner, Harry is responsible for helping to support Element’s renewable power and advanced material investments. Harry currently serves on the board of directors for two of Element’s portfolio companies.
Harry was formerly the President and Chief Executive Officer of BP Solar. Harry brings over 25 years of experience in the general management of high technology manufacturing companies. He has had P&L responsibility for more than 15 different manufacturing businesses in the fields of precision equipment, photovoltaics, engineered materials, optics, and aerospace. These businesses have ranged in size and scope from start-ups to $350 million international operations with multi-plant locations.
He spent his early career at General Electric, where he advanced through managerial positions in marketing, manufacturing, and engineering, in both domestic and international locations. He left General Electric in 1989 as the Division General Manager of the High Temperature Materials Division, which produced fused quartz, refractory metals, and synthetic sapphire for the electronic, fiber optic, and lighting markets.
Upon leaving GE, Harry began his career in venture capital. Mr. Shimp has successfully managed companies, as their president, in the fields of engineered ceramics, reinforced thermoplastic composites, precision optics, aerospace repair and overhaul, precision instruments and equipment and photovoltaics.
In 1999, the Solarex photovoltaic company, with Harry as president, was wholly acquired by British Petroleum, plc. BP merged its own solar business with Solarex to create BP Solar. While Harry served as President and Chief Executive Officer of BP Solar for the next four years, BP Solar achieved revenues in excess of $300 million, and an annual growth rate of 25%, representing almost one-fifth of the worldwide photovoltaic market. At the same time, unit cost was reduced by 12% per year and revenue per employee climbed by 50%. BP Solar had six primary manufacturing locations in four countries – the U.S., Spain, Australia and India. Since leaving BP in early 2003, he has concentrated his efforts in the precision equipment and specialty materials markets.
Harry serves on the board of directors of Petra Solar and Energex. Harry has been awarded four U.S. patents and holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and Masters degrees in Engineering and Industrial Administration from Carnegie-Mellon University.