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Report: Top Cree Executives Depart

A report in the Triangle Business Journal confirms the departures of Daniel Castillo and Keith Eagle from Cree.  Castillo was the President of the lighting division and Eagles was the senior vice president of sales for Cree’s commercial lighting division.

The departures come a little less than two and a half months after Gregg Lowe was named CEO.  Lowe came to Cree from Freescale Semiconductor, a $5 billion company that serves the automotive, industrial and communications markets.  Lowe replaced Chuck Swoboda in a transition plan that started in May of this year.

During his first earnings call with investors on October 16th, Lowe announced a new strategic plan for Cree, which included, “We’re going to work on three things in the near-term, first evaluating and focusing the strategy and the direction of the company; second, improving execution in our existing business; and third, engaging the workforce and getting everyone pulling in the same direction.”  Lowe added he is asking his company four key questions, “One, what is our unique differentiation; two, which customers care about this differentiation; three, what are the dynamics of the market for these customers; and four, can we be a top player.”

Lowe also said during the conference call that he will be looking very closely at profit margin. “I think there is room in all three of our businesses to improve margin; in some of the, it’s substantial; in some of it, it’s a definitely more incremental. But all three other businesses have opportunities to improve margin, to improve productivity, to improve quality and all of the metrics that I mentioned earlier. So, I sat down with each of the GMs, they all have plans to do that,” Lowe announced.

Castillo joined Cree a little more than a year ago.  According to a Cree press release, “Castillo joins Cree from Eaton Corporation, where he was most recently Senior Vice President, Oil, Gas and IEC Assemblies.  Prior to his work at Eaton, Castillo held leadership roles in lighting and other electrical product areas at both Cooper Industries and General Electric.”  The press release added Castillo had 25 years of experience with multinational industrial companies.

Eagle also joined Cree from Eaton in 2016.

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