Maxeon Solar Technologies parts ways with CEO as it eyes ‘next phase of growth’

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Waters took over Maxeon four years ago and will depart on 15 September. Image: Jeff Waters via LinkedIn

Maxeon Solar Technologies CEO Jeff Waters is stepping down from the role after four years, with the company on the search for a new head.

Maxeon said its board and Waters had “agreed that Waters will step down as CEO and member of the Board” on 15 September. Its chief revenue officer (CRO) Mark Babcock has been appointed interim CEO.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Jeff for successfully leading Maxeon through its first phase of growth”, said Donald Colvin, Maxeon’s chairman. 

“With the Company positioned strongly for the future, the Board and Jeff mutually agreed that now is the time for a new leader to take the Company to its next phase of growth.”

Maxeon’s board has enlisted an outside firm to conduct a search process for the new CEO.

The company designs and manufactures Maxeon and SunPower brand solar PV modules. It sells its products in more than 100 countries, operating under the SunPower brand in certain countries outside the US.  

Recently, the company has sought to transform its business model away from simply a module manufacturer and towards a more holistic clean energy provider.

In May, it released its SunPower One integrated home energy solution, designed to proactively advise homeowners on ways to optimise their energy usage. PV Tech Premium sat down with Waters at the time to discuss the new offering and business model.

Its operations towards the end of last year were stymied by logistical failures, but the company was able to address them by turning to other forms of transportation.

This helped to restore its performance in Q2 when it shipped 520MW of modules and saw its distributed generation business in Europe grow.

Also in May, it hired Philippe Costemale as its new chief operating officer (COO) and made him responsible for the global manufacturing organisation, global operations and supply chain activities as it eyed a continued transformation.

More recently, the company bagged a US$200 million investment from TCL Zhonghuan to support expenditures for Maxeon 7 products, P series products and R&D expenditures.

TCL Zhonghuan and Maxeon formed an alliance four years ago. In 2019, Zhonghuan secured a cooperation agreement with Total to spin off Maxeon from solar residential installer SunPower and register Maxeon in Singapore. TCL Zhonghuan became the second largest shareholder of Maxeon with a stake of 28.85%.

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