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SunPower Layoffs?: Solar Energy Company Cuts Operating Costs

January 17, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

SunPower apparently will have layoffs as part of a restructuring plan designed to cut the solar energy company's operating costs.

Update - April 24, 2024: Latest SunPower restructuring involves 1,000 layoffs, end of direct sales.

Original January 17, 2024 Coverage: In an SunPower filing with the SEC, the company said that it "adopted a restructuring plan to further advance efforts reducing operating costs due to slower sales driven, in part, by higher interest rates. The plan is intended to improve the economics of the business. The Company expects to incur restructuring charges totaling approximately $12.8 million, consisting of approximately $8.2 million in severance benefits, and expects to write down approximately $4.7 million in right of use assets."

Most of the restructuring charges will arrive in Q1 of fiscal 2024, and most of the plan will be executed by the end of Q3 2024, the company said.

Related: See all sustainability & renewable energy company layoffs listed here.

SunPower: Restructuring Follows Credit Agreement Warning

SunPower did not specifically mention layoffs or staff cuts in the SEC filing, but the $8.2 million in severance benefits suggests headcount reductions are on the way.

The SunPower restructuring plan arrives roughly one month after the company warned that it violated a credit agreement involving belated earnings results. That credit agreement warning surfaced in a SunPower SEC filing dated December 18, 2023.

SunPower, founded in 1985, is based in Richmond, California. The company develops all-in-one residential solar and associated energy storage solutions. SunPower has roughly 3,300 employees across the United States and The Philippines, according to the company's website. SunPower's partner program includes a dealer network.

Solar Energy Market Growth vs. Interest Rate Headwinds

Although global demand for solar energy continues to grow, the market faced multiple headwinds in 2023. Among the key challenges: High interest rates made renewable energy infrastructure projects especially costly to finance. As a result, multiple clean energy companies experienced layoffs in 2023.

Amid SunPower's business challenges, the company's stock ($SPWR) has fallen roughly 85% from January 2023 through mid-January 2024, according to SeekingAlpha.

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4 comments on “SunPower Layoffs?: Solar Energy Company Cuts Operating Costs”

  1. Update:SunPower CEO Peter Faricy departed the company on Feb 26, 2024. The board is conducting a search process to identify a permanent CEO. Until a successor is named, the board has established an Office of the Chairman, led by Tom Werner, Executive Chairman of the Board and newly appointed Principal Executive Officer; and includes Elizabeth Eby, Chief Financial Officer; Eileen Evans, Chief Legal Officer; and other key members of the Executive Leadership Team.

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