Local News

Neal Hunter's Startup Lures Two Cree Execs to Managerial Posts

Posted May 9, 2006

— Neal Hunter, one of Cree's co-founders and a former top executive and chairman at the firm, reached into its management ranks to fill two top positions at his new startup.

LED Lighting Fixtures (LLF)

, which Hunter and a team of other former Cree executives formed, named Mike Rogers as its president and Cynthia Merrell as its chief financial officer. Rogers was vice president of sales for Cree, a semiconductor and LED firm, over the past eight years. Merrell was chief financial officer. She announced her resignation, effective May 5.

"Mike Rogers is a proven leader," said Hunter, who is LLF's chairman and chief executive officer. "He's been involved in complex negotiations on a global basis, and he understands the light emitting diode (LED) business.

"Cindy Merrell has an impeccable track record as a financial leader and is well respected in the investment community," he added. "Cindy will be a key member of our business planning team."

Rogers and Merrell were also named to LLF's board of directors. Also named to the board were Hunter, chief technology officer Gerry Negley, and managing director Tony van de Ven.

LLF also named Mike Fallon, a former vice president of CooperTools, as its vice president of sales and marketing. Fallon led a $500 million division at CooperTools.

"Mike Fallon's tenure at Cooper Industries will prove invaluable in our efforts to launch a new product line in an existing distribution structure," Hunter said. "He has experienced all aspects of the sales and marketing process."

LLF is developing LED technology for use in home lighting fixtures. The company estimates the home lighting market as being worth $12 billion. Negley, Tommy Coleman, van de Ven and Hunter launched the company in 2005.

"These executive appointments bring together a group that is arguably one of the most experienced technology management teams on the East Coast." Hunter said. "We will continue to add expertise from the lighting industry as we finish building our team."

LLF announced recently it had developed LEDs that utilized 15 percent of the power needed for a 65-watt light bulb and 50 percent of the power required for a fluorescent bulb while also generating much less heat and having a life expectancy of some 20 years.

The company recently moved into a new headquarters in Morrisville.

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