In mid-September Enercon’s co-managing director, Nicole Fritsch-Nehring, sent four short, sharp sentences to her colleagues. Michael Strobel, the technical director of the wind turbine manufacturer, had left the company. Ms. Fritsch-Nehring said there was to be a “restructuring in the research and development department.”
The message came as a surprise to many. After all, Mr. Strobel was a recognized specialist who performed a key function in the business. Joachim Stilla, head of innovations strategy, had also just left. That meant many of the 600 engineers in Enercon’s innovation division were left with only Ms. Fritsch-Nehring in charge.
Yet the woman who Windpower Monthly had named the world’s most important personality in the wind energy industry in 2013 didn’t take charge of the engineers. She disappeared.
Since September 20th no-one’s seen her at work, according to employees. Her parking space is empty. Her appointments have been cancelled.