SunPower’s Former CEO Werner Returns as Executive Chairman

SunPower’s Former CEO Werner Returns as Executive Chairman

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(Bloomberg) — Former SunPower Corp. chief executive officer Tom Werner has returned to the company as executive chair, just days after the struggling solar installer received a much-needed financial boost from its biggest shareholders.  

Werner spent almost 18 years at the company and took up his new duties Monday, according to a statement. Under Werner, SunPower was known for supplying some of the best solar panels in the industry, but he stepped down in 2021 after engineering the spinoff of its manufacturing operations to focus on rooftop power installations. He was succeeded as CEO by Peter Faricy, who remains in that position.  

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Rooftop solar companies have been under pressure as policy shifts, inflation and rising interest rates make their systems more expensive. SunPower has faced additional challenges after a unit defaulted last year on a credit agreement, prompting the company to warn in December there was doubt about its ability to remain in business. 

Werner’s returns comes after last week’s announcement that French energy giant TotalEnergies SE and private equity firm Global Infrastructure Partners were providing $155 million in new financing, addressing its cash crunch but also diluting shares. 

Read More: Solar Installer SunPower Slips as Cash Infusion Dilutes Shares

Werner’s deep institutional knowledge will be “invaluable” as SunPower seeks to “navigate this critical moment for our industry,” Faricy said in the statement.

SunPower slipped 3.3% to $3.50 at 10:20 a.m. in New York. The shares have slumped more than 77% in the year through Friday.  

(Updates with comment from executive in fourth paragraph.)

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