Richards steps down as EMCORE executive chairman as part of company refocus

Management at EMCORE Corp. (NASDAQ:EMKR) says that the completion of a pair of asset transactions has enabled the company to focus on areas in which it can maintain differentiation. In light of this realignment, the company has restructured – including eliminating the position of executive chairman held by Ruben Richards.

Management at EMCORE Corp. (NASDAQ:EMKR) says that the completion of a pair of asset transactions has enabled the company to focus on areas in which it can maintain differentiation. In light of this realignment, the company has restructured – including eliminating the position of executive chairman held by Ruben Richards, Jr.

The asset transaction included the May 2012, sale of EMCORE’s enterprise product lines to Sumitomo Electric Device Innovations USA (see “EMCORE sells VCSEL-based product lines to Sumitomo”). The company just announced that it also has signed a definitive agreement to consolidate EMCORE's terrestrial concentrator photovoltaics (CPV) business into its joint venture, Suncore Photovoltaics. The company said it had lost approximately $15 million over the past four quarters from these two business units. With these units off the table, the company is now free to focus on more lucrative opportunities, including those its optical module and components activities provide.

"In this complex market environment, it is vital to focus our business scope on those areas with the highest potential for growth and profitability. I am very excited about our current business portfolio: a combination of solid sustaining businesses and the high growth areas with the most-sought-after technology in our industries," stated Richards. "EMCORE is determined to drive its business to achieve profitability."

Along with the streamlining of assets, Richards apparently proposed to EMCORE's board of directors that they streamline EMCORE’s management structuring by eliminating the position of executive chairman. The board agreed, and Richards will retire from the position effective September 30, 2012. However, Richards will remain with the company as chairman of the board, a position he has held (along with the executive chairman role) since 2008.

The company indicates that further realignment of management responsibilities will follow.

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