On the cutting edge, Kareen’s story

Kareen’s story

Joined 2012, UK – When I look back at my career, it seems like I’ve been on the cusp of huge change and new technology the whole time. I left Stanford to start a career in Silicon Valley, when the internet was in its infancy – my room mate at the time was the founder of Ebay! I began in tech start-ups, which was a very fast-growing, quickly-changing environment as the technology was coming on in leaps and bounds every passing week. After over a decade I moved to solar as I sensed a new trend and investments moving away from tech into ‘clean tech’.

In both cases, we were defining the industry as we went, building it up around us. Silicon Valley in the 1990s was all about how the internet was changing the way we do things. Solar now is all about redefining how we think about, generate, use and pay for energy. Increasingly, I’m merging my two areas of expertise into one.

We’re focused not just on simple large scale solar, but on pushing the boundaries of distributed generation and energy digitalisation, using new technology and connectivity to make real change. Solar is our bread and butter, it’s what we do best, but we’re dedicated to progress, modernisation and meeting new challenges across the board. We’ve always been innovative, from finance to floating solar, it’s part of our DNA.

Like the majority of long term Lightsource employees, I’ve held a number of different roles in my near-decade at the company. I’ve been MD, and COO, and now regional CEO for Europe and International, and throughout my career at the company I’ve worked hard to help redefining the industry. It’s been a fascinating journey from the company I joined in 2012 to the Lightsource bp of today, and the pace just keeps ramping up. Each year outstrips the last – it’s what makes going to work so rewarding.

Kareen Boutonnat, CEO for Europe and International


Corporate biography

Kareen is Lightsource bp’s CEO of Europe and APAC. She manages a growing list of active territories, spanning established markets like Spain and Australia, and emerging areas like Taiwan and Poland.

Since joining in 2012, Kareen has held several senior management positions at the company, including Managing Director and Global COO. She has played an instrumental role in Lightsource bp’s evolution from regional solar developer to global, solar-energy major.

Kareen is a Lightsource bp board member and sits on the firm’s investment committee. She is also on the boards of EverSource Capital and Ayana Renewable Power.

Kareen holds a double Master’s in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from ISEP (Institut Superieur d’Electronique de Paris) and moved to the United States to complete a Master’s in Engineering Management at Stanford University.

After university, Kareen started her career in Silicon Valley and spent eight years working for two successful tech venture start-ups in roles focussed on driving commercialisation and high growth. This included an IPO and trade sale respectively, for both ventures. Before joining Lightsource bp, Kareen served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Solarcentury, leading the company’s growth into international territories.

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