SunPower reduces management salaries, freezes hiring and withdraws 2020 financial guidance


From pv magazine USA.

SunPower, a solar company already making an enormous corporate shift, just announced steps it is taking to “help the company prudently manage its business during the current industry uncertainty relating to the Covid-19 pandemic. The company believes these actions will position it well for when the solar industry returns to strong growth.”

Tom Werner, SunPower CEO, said in a release, “We are committed to taking every action within our control to manage our business and serve our customers both now and when the industry recovers. We have the industry’s best technology and are continuing to invest in our innovative product suite including our storage and digital solutions.”

SunPower implemented:

  • a reduction in management salaries
  • a freezing of all hiring and merit increases
  • a reduction in capital expenditures

SunPower expects these actions to save up to $50 million in 2020.

Late last year,  SunPower announced it would be spinning off its high-efficiency manufacturing business into a new company, Maxeon Solar Technologies. Maxeon products have historically led the industry as the world’s highest-efficiency solar modules. Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor, one of the world’s largest silicon wafer makers, is pouring $298 million into Maxeon Solar.

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SunPower also issued this statement:

“Additionally, at this time, the company cannot fully assess the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in both its U.S. and international businesses. As a consequence, the company is withdrawing its previously provided fiscal year 2020 financial guidance. The company expects to provide additional details on its updated 2020 forecast on its first quarter 2020 earnings call in May.”

SunPower posted a profitable last-quarter and full-year 2019. SunPower finished 2019 with a net income of $22.2 million – compared to 2018, when it finished $811.1 million in the red.

Werner noted, “Finally, we remain on track to complete our planned company split into two independently focused pure-play solar companies by the end of the second quarter.”

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