Energy Focus, Inc. (NASDAQ: EFOI), a leader in sustainable, energy-efficient LED lighting control systems and products for the commercial, military, maritime and consumer markets, today announced that on August 24, 2023, the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Energy Focus, Inc. (the “Company” or “Energy Focus”) approved the termination of the Company’s Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”), Lesley Matt, effective immediately. The Board appointed Chiao Chieh Jay Huang to serve as the Company’s new CEO. In line with this decision, Mr. Huang will discontinue his role as Chairman of the Board.
Mr. Huang, 48, is the President of Sander Electronics, Inc., which he has served as since 2015 and after holding positions of increasing responsibility since 1997. As an innovative entrepreneur, Mr. Huang has more than 20 years of experience in engineering and management within the LED lighting industry, and he holds over 50 electronic and lighting related patents, including commercial buildings, signages, and medical use. In recent years, Mr. Huang has devoted himself to the development of green energy-related products. In addition to assisting in the development of energy solution and energy storage, he has also assisted several collaborating companies to establish a sustainable governance system. Mr. Huang graduated from St. John's University with outstanding achievements from the Department of Electrical Engineering, where he specialized in microelectronic circuits, computer structure, engineering mathematics, microcomputer applications, system programming, interfacing technology, and electronic manufacturing.
There are no family relationships between Mr. Huang and any director or other executive officer of the Company. Other than the transactions between the Company and Sander Electronics, Inc. that have been disclosed in the Company’s prior filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), there are no transactions between Mr. Huang or any member of his immediate families and the Company or any of its subsidiaries that would be reportable as a related party transaction under the rules of the SEC. Further, there is no arrangement or understanding between Mr. Huang and any other persons or entities pursuant to which Mr. Huang was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Company.
Energy Focus has consistently demonstrated a commitment to growth, innovation, and leadership within the industry. As part of our ongoing efforts to align our leadership structure with the evolving demands of the business landscape, the Board has undertaken a comprehensive review of the organization's strategic direction and executive responsibilities. The Board has determined that Mr. Huang’s experience, vision, and strategic acumen make him the ideal candidate to lead the Company as the CEO. The Board firmly believes that his transition to the role of CEO from Chairman will further enhance the Company's position in the market.
As part of this transition, the Board has appointed Kin Fu Chen as the Chairman of the Board. Mr. Chen brings a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of Energy Focus’ operations, values, and strategic goals, making him well-suited to guide the Board in its oversight and governance functions. This strategic decision is driven by the desire to leverage Mr. Huang's leadership strengths, experience, and expertise in a manner that best serves Energy Focus’ growth trajectory. By concentrating his efforts as CEO, Mr. Huang will be able to direct his focus toward shaping the Company's operational strategies, driving innovation, and expanding its business horizons.
There are no family relationships between Mr. Chen and any director or other executive officer of the Company. There are no transactions between Mr. Chen or any member of his immediate families and the Company or any of its subsidiaries that would be reportable as a related party transaction under the rules of the SEC. Further, there is no arrangement or understanding between Mr. Chen and any other persons or entities pursuant to which Mr. Chen was appointed as Chairman of the Board of the Company.
Energy Focus is an industry-leading innovator of sustainable light-emitting diode (“LED”) lighting and lighting control technologies and solutions. As the creator of the first flicker-free LED lamps, Energy Focus develops high quality LED lighting products and controls that provide extensive energy and maintenance savings, as well as aesthetics, safety, health and sustainability benefits over conventional lighting. In 2023, EFOI announced plans to add high efficiency GaN (gallium nitride) power supply products to its product portfolio. Energy Focus is headquartered in Solon, Ohio. For more information, visit our website at www.energyfocus.com.
Forward-looking statements in this release are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements can generally be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the terms “believes,” “estimates,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “feels,” “seeks,” “forecasts,” “projects,” “intends,” “plans,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “could” or “would” or, in each case, their negative or other variations or comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements include all matters that are not historical facts and include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs or current expectations concerning, among other things, our results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, prospects, growth, strategies, capital expenditures, and the industry in which we operate. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. Although we base these forward-looking statements on assumptions that we believe are reasonable when made in light of the information currently available to us, we caution you that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and that our actual results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and industry developments may differ materially from statements made in or suggested by the forward-looking statements contained in this release. We believe that important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (i) our need for and ability to obtain additional financing in the near term, on acceptable terms or at all, to continue our operations; (ii) our ability to refinance or extend maturing debt on acceptable terms or at all; (iii) our ability to continue as a going concern for a reasonable period of time; (iv) instability in the U.S. and global economies and business interruptions experienced by us, our customers and our suppliers, particularly in light of supply chain issues, and related long-term impacts on travel, trade and business operations, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; (v) the competitiveness and market acceptance of our LED lighting and control technologies and products; (vi) our ability to compete effectively against companies with lower prices or cost structures, greater resources, or more rapid development capabilities, and new competitors in our target markets; (vii) our ability to extend our product portfolio into new end markets, including consumer products; (viii) our ability to increase demand in our targeted markets and to manage sales cycles that are difficult to predict and may span several quarters; (ix) the timing of large customer orders, significant expenses and fluctuations between demand and capacity as we manage inventory and invest in growth opportunities; (x) our ability to successfully scale our network of sales representatives, agents, distributors and other channel partners to compete with the sales reach of larger, established competitors; (xi) our ability to implement plans to increase sales and control expenses; (xii) our reliance on a limited number of customers for a significant portion of our revenue, and our ability to maintain or grow such sales levels; (xiii) our ability to add new customers to reduce customer concentration; (xiv) our ability to attract and retain a new chief financial officer; (xv) our ability to manage the size of our workforce while continuing to attract, develop and retain qualified personnel, and to do so in a timely manner; (xvi) our reliance on a limited number of third-party suppliers and development partners, our ability to manage third-party product development and obtain critical components and finished products on acceptable terms and of acceptable quality despite ongoing global supply chain challenges, and the impact of our fluctuating demand on the stability of such suppliers; (xvii) our ability to timely, efficiently and cost-effectively transport products from our third-party suppliers by ocean marine and other logistics channels despite global supply chain and logistics disruptions; (xiii) the impact of any type of legal inquiry, claim or dispute; (xix) the macro-economic conditions, including recessionary trends, in the United States and in other markets in which we operate or secure products, which could affect our ability to obtain raw materials, component parts, freight, energy, labor, and sourced finished goods in a timely and cost-effective manner; (xx) our dependence on military maritime customers and on the levels and timing of government funding available to such customers, as well as the funding resources of our other customers in the public sector and commercial markets; (xxi) business interruptions resulting from geopolitical actions such as war and terrorism, natural disasters, including earthquakes, typhoons, floods and fires, or from health epidemics, or pandemics or other contagious outbreaks; (xxii) our ability to respond to new lighting and control technologies and market trends; (xxiii) our ability to fulfill our warranty obligations with safe and reliable products; (xxiv) any delays we may encounter in making new products available or fulfilling customer specifications; (xxv) any flaws or defects in our products or in the manner in which they are used or installed; (xxvi) our ability to protect our intellectual property rights and other confidential information, and manage infringement claims made by others; (xxvii) our compliance with government contracting laws and regulations, through both direct and indirect sale channels, as well as other laws, such as those relating to the environment and health and safety; (xxiii) risks inherent in international markets, such as economic and political uncertainty, changing regulatory and tax requirements and currency fluctuations, including tariffs and other potential barriers to international trade; (xxix) our ability to maintain effective internal controls and otherwise comply with our obligations as a public company; and (xxx) our ability to regain and maintain compliance with the continued listing standards of The Nasdaq Stock Market. For additional factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements, please refer to our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.