May 22, 2012

Cree Announces CFO Transition

John Kurtzweil Resigns; Michael McDevitt Named Interim CFO
DURHAM, N.C. -- Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE), a market leader in LED lighting, today announced that John Kurtzweil has resigned as executive vice president-finance and chief financial officer, effective May 21, 2012, to pursue other opportunities, and that Michael McDevitt has been appointed CFO on an interim basis.  Cree has commissioned a search for a replacement through Russell Reynolds Associates, executive search consultants.

 

Mr. Kurtzweil plans to continue as a Cree employee until June 15, 2012, to assist with the transition of his responsibilities.  "The decision to leave Cree was a very difficult one for me as the past six years have been personally rewarding," said Mr. Kurtzweil.  "At this point in my career, however, I decided to move to Extreme Networks, a smaller firm where I can have a more hands-on role in growing the business."

 

"We appreciate John's contributions in helping grow Cree from $400 million in revenues in fiscal 2007 to over a billion dollars in annualized revenues today," said Chuck Swoboda, Cree chairman and chief executive officer.  "He has built a strong finance team and a foundation for future growth.  We wish him continued success." 

 

Mr. Swoboda also commented on Cree's previously announced business outlook for the fiscal quarter ending in June:  "We are encouraged with our progress in growing the business through the first half of the quarter.  At this point, we remain on track with our targets."

 

Cree's interim CFO, Mike McDevitt, joined Cree in 2002 as corporate controller and previously served as interim CFO in 2006 during an earlier transition.  He has also served as Cree's director of financial planning and as director of sales operations. 

 

About Cree, Inc.

 

Cree is leading the LED lighting revolution and making energy-wasting traditional lighting technologies obsolete through the use of energy-efficient, mercury-free LED lighting. Cree is a market-leading innovator of lighting-class LEDs, LED lighting, and semiconductor products for power and radio frequency (RF) applications.

 

Cree's product families include LED fixtures and bulbs, blue and green LED chips, high-brightness LEDs, lighting-class power LEDs, power-switching devices and RF devices. Cree products are driving improvements in applications such as general illumination, electronic signs and signals, power supplies and solar inverters.

 

For additional product and company information, please refer to www.cree.com.

 

This press release contains forward-looking statements involving risks and uncertainties, both known and unknown, that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated. Actual results, including with respect to our targets and prospects, could differ materially due to a number of factors, including the risk that we may not obtain sufficient orders to achieve our targeted revenues; risks associated with our acquisition of Ruud Lighting; increasing price competition in key markets; the risk that we or our channel partners are not able to develop and expand customer bases and accurately anticipate demand from end customers, which can result in increased inventory and reduced orders as we experience wide fluctuations in supply and demand; the risk that our results will suffer if we are unable to balance fluctuations in customer demand and capacity; risks associated with the ramp-up of production of our new products, and our entry into new business channels different from those in which we have historically operated; the risk that we may experience production difficulties that preclude us from shipping sufficient quantities to meet customer orders or that result in higher production costs and lower margins; our ability to lower costs; ongoing uncertainty in global economic conditions, infrastructure development or customer demand that could negatively affect product demand, collectability of receivables and other related matters as consumers and businesses may defer purchases or payments, or default on payments; the risk we may be required to record a significant charge to earnings if our goodwill or amortizable assets become impaired; our ability to complete development and commercialization of products under development, such as our pipeline of improved LED chips, LED components and LED lighting products; risks resulting from the concentration of our business among few customers, including the risk that customers may reduce or cancel orders or fail to honor purchase commitments; the rapid development of new technology and competing products that may impair demand or render our products obsolete; the potential lack of customer acceptance for our products; risks associated with ongoing litigation; and other factors discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including our report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 26, 2011, and subsequent reports filed with the SEC. Except as required under the U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations of the SEC, Cree disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements after the date of this release, whether as a result of new information, future events, developments, changes in assumptions or otherwise.

 

Cree® is a registered trademark of Cree, Inc.

Contact:

Raiford Garrabrant
Cree, Inc.
Director, Investor Relations
Ph: 919-407-7895
Fax: 919-407-5615
Email: investorrelations@cree.com