LED lighting company Cree, which has been struggling with declining revenue stemming from slack demand as well as internal issues, has eliminated 70 jobs at its Durham headquarters and manufacturing operations and at its facility in Wisconsin.
The layoffs, which represent about 1 percent of the company’s total employees, affected workers in the lighting business and Cree’s information technology department. Cree, which employs more than 2,000 workers in Durham and more than 6,000 company-wide, didn’t break down how many jobs were eliminated at each site.
“These actions are in response to current business conditions,” Cree said in a statement. “Where possible, the overall impact of this action was reduced by offering alternative positions within the company.”
At the same time, Cree said it “continues to invest in the lighting business and to hire according to business needs and conditions.”
Cree also laid off “a very small number of workers” in Durham, as well as an unspecified number of jobs in Racine, Wis., in October.
Cree announced Tuesday that revenue for its latest quarter fell 7 percent to $342 million. The company’s largest business, its LED lighting products, fell 18 percent to $154 million.
CEO Chuck Swoboda told analysts that the reason for the decline was half weak market conditions and and half the result of quality control problems – since fixed – with components provided by an outside supplier.
Mike McDevitt, chief financial officer, said during the quarterly conference call that giving the current state of the lighting business, it was taking action that would pare annual costs by $8 million.
Danny Castillo, who was named president of lighting in October, said that although he expected “incremental improvement” in the business this quarter, he expected “it will take several quarters to rebuild significant momentum in the business.”
Swoboda also said that the company will be introducing new indoor and outdoor lighting products in markets where Cree currently doesn’t compete in the near future.