The chief financial officer of Q-Cells, Hartmut Schuening, will resign from his post following Thursday's annual general meeting at his own request, the company said on Wednesday.

We are particularly grateful to him for his total commitment to achieving a strong financial base for Q-Cells, in what are trying times for the entire industry. Now that this task has been completed, the Annual General Meeting is a good time for both him and the company to move on to the next step, Anton Milner, chief executive of Q-Cells said.

The world's largest maker of solar cells said the search for a replacement had been launched, adding that Nedim Cen, who acted as CFO of the KION Group until 2008, had been named as interim head of finance.

Schuening -- whose contract would have ended next year -- left at his own request for a personal time out after the financing for the company had been secured, a company spokesman told Reuters.

However, the company said Schuening -- who headed the finance department at Q-Cells for more than five years -- would be available to support the company in an advisory capacity.

Along with the rest of the solar industry, Q-Cells has been hit by falling prices for cells as well as tight financing conditions in the sector, leading it to cut its sales guidance in April for the third time within less than six months.

Last month, the company -- which competes with Sharp Corp and Kyocera -- raised about 780 million euros ($1.08 billion) in cash by selling its 17.2 percent stake in Norwegian Renewable Energy Corp as well as issuing a convertible bond.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing Bernard Orr)