DURHAM – Cree sometime in the near future will have a new name: Wolfspeed, thus dropping one of the oldest names for a tech company in North Carolina.
So announced CEO Gregg Lowe Wednesday evening during a conference call to discuss the tech company’s quarterly earnings.
The namechange reflects Cree’s (Nasdaq: CREE) change in priorities to semiconductors and away from LED lighting, a move Lowe launched soon after being named the firm’s top executive in 2017.
His predecessor, Chuck Swoboda, had tried to sell Wolfspeed but was stopped from doing so by federal regulators. Swoboda later retired.
Cree launched in 1987 with strong links to N.C. State University. The name Wolfspeed was embraced by Cree in 2015 for its growing silicon carbide ( SiC) power products and reflected its NCSU Wolfpack heritage.
“The momentum we’re seeing in silicon carbide reinforces our competence and our growth strategy as we execute on our long-term plan. In addition, we are making solid progress on the divestiture of our LED assets and expect the closest transaction during our fiscal third quarter,” Lowe said.
“Once the divestiture of Cree’s LED is complete, we will have achieved a major milestone in our transformational journey to establish our company as a pure play global semiconductor powerhouse, well positioned to lead the industry transition from silicon to silicon carbide. Now to further amplify this transition, we are changing the name of our company to Wolfspeed. We believe this is a natural progression that builds on our strong reputation of developing silicon carbide solutions over the last 30 years while at the same time, capitalizing on the competitive positioning that the Wolfspeed brand has in the market.
“We have more to share on these efforts over the next several months and expect the name change to be complete sometime in the next few quarters.”
Wolfspeed is the name of the technology group focused on power supply technology and has been deemed by analysts as a leader in providing gear for the growing world of electric-powered vehicles.
Cree is currently building a $1 billion semiconductor manufacturing facility in New York to support Wolfspeed growth.