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Triangle Downtowner

Cree CEO and President Gregg Lowe at the Raleigh Chamber Coffee with Leaders

Mar 26, 2019 02:42PM ● By Crash Gregg
We always enjoy attending the Coffee with Leaders series from the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. This morning's event with Cree CEO and President Gregg Lowe was no exception. Thank you to Christine Peterson, President of Protus3, for being this morning's host and to Duke Energy for sponsoring the event.

Christine Peterson, President of Protus3

 It was great to hear more about Gregg's background and the path that brought him to Cree and the Triangle 18 months ago.

What else we learned about Gregg this morning:
- Gregg is originally from Cleveland and grew up in a family of 11 children, which helped teach him early lessons about market share ("when the food was passed around the table, you'd better get what you wanted because it wouldn't be coming around again").
- His favorite part about the area is how green everything is here and the close proximity of our NC beaches and mountains.
- Gregg frequently flies around the world for work and has over 16 million miles on American Airlines alone.
Protus3 President Christine Peterson, Cree CEO and President Gregg Lowe, and Triangle Downtowner Magazine Publisher Crash S. Gregg

 - He describes his leadership style as player-coach, meaning while it's important to be a coach and lead the team, it's equally important to be a team player. He feels his job is to remove all the obstacles out of the way, so his team can get to where they need to go in order to achieve their goals.
- He enjoys flyfishing.
- He took some time off with his wife after moving to Colorado and visited most of the country's national parks.

What we learned about Cree:
- The company is in the process of selling its lighting division for ~$300M, which will be re-invested in their silicon-carbide research and development. Silicon carbide (SiC, also known as carborundum) has a higher power density and higher operating temperature/voltages than regular silicon, resulting in better performing and less expensive power chips. - Cree currently has a 65% market share in the silicon carbide market, which computes to about $540M in sales, and which will likely grow into a billion dollar revenue stream in just a few years. - The silicon carbide chips are used in electric cars, the solar industry, and other industrial markets. - These chips are 10 times more efficient than regular silicon chips and therefore result in more power, more efficient electric batteries, and less expensive/much lighter solar inverters. - The development of silicon carbide chips will create a multi-decade growth period for Cree because of the ever-growing electric car market. - Cree is also investing in the future of RF semiconductors, which will be used to help deliver the new cellular 5G technology.
- All of Cree's silicon carbide production is done here in the United States at their production facilities near Durham.
- Cree invests heavily in their employees and internal mobility is an important part of their corporate culture.

 If your company works in the Wake County area and isn't yet a member of the Raleigh Chamber, we highly recommend joining and taking part in your local business community. For more information, call Evelyn Lucas at 919.664.7054 or visit https://www.raleighchamber.org/join.html.

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