SunPower announces hiring freeze, reduced salaries as actions to address COVID-19 market disruption

The company expects these actions will result in savings of up to $50 million in 2020.

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California — SunPower announced that it is implementing a number of material initiatives 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.

“During these unprecedented times, our primary focus remains on the safety and well-being of our employees, working closely with our partners and continuing to serve our customers,” said Tom Werner, SunPower CEO and chairman of the board. “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. 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.”

SunPower has immediately implemented a number of initiatives to manage its cost structure including a reduction in management salaries, the freezing of all hiring and merit increases as well as a reduction in capital expenditures. The company expects these actions will result in savings of up to $50 million in 2020. The company is also reviewing all discretionary spending as well as other programs to further reduce costs in the near-term and remains comfortable with its liquidity position.

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.

The company’s planned split into two independent, publicly traded companies, expected to close by the end of the second quarter of 2020, is dependent on the timing of regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of certain closing conditions.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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