18 December, 2013, Raleigh, NC—EdisonReport announced today Chuck Swoboda, President and CEO of Cree Lighting, as its 2013 Person of the Year.
Swoboda was chosen because of Cree’s leadership in the LED industry, specifically launching two game-changing products this year: the Cree LED Bulb and the XSPR LED Street Light, which we prefer to call the $99 Street light. Both products made the EdisonReport 2013 Top 10 LightTrades™ Award with the Cree LED Bulb as our Best Product of the Year.
Your humble editor interviewed Swoboda to discuss some of Cree’s achievements and better understand their future direction.
A few notes:
- During the interview we discussed legacy technologies and I asked if Fluorescent would be the last technology displaced. His answer was, “It depends on what we invent next.” The camera did not pick up the sly grin he showed while making this statement. The body language which I saw tells me to expect something big in fluorescent, fairly soon.
- Once the cameras stopped and we were wrapping up, I asked him about the Walmart situation. Cree introduces a $9.97 product at Home Depot and a few months later Walmart launches a $8.88 TCP lamp. He responded that he was happy to see this move as it reinforces Cree’s belief of switching the entire world to LED and Walmart will help with adoption of the technology and that is good for everyone. He did point out that the TCP product was more of a snowcone design, meaning the board is flat and the chips all point in one direction. In addition, the Cree product will have a higher CRI, so in most areas that are important to the consumer, Cree will have a superior product.