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Megatrend Interviews: Raiford Garrabrant, CFA of Cree Inc. (CREE)

|Includes: Cree, Inc. (CREE) interviews Raiford Garrabrant, CFA, Director of Investor Relations of Cree Inc. (NASDAQ:CREE). He is an alumnus of University of Carolina at Chapel Hill and became a mutual fund manager before joining Cree Inc. five years ago all because of the belief that LEDs are the future in lighting. Cree Inc. is one of our megatrend companies because it promotes the efficient use of energy through its lighting products.

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Here is an excerpt of the interview.

The very first time I encountered CREE is in an article five years ago that talks about disruptive technologies, as coined by Clayton Christensen, and its potential to change the market place. Modesty aside, how disruptive are the products of CREE then and at present looking forward?
Raiford Garrabrant: It’s quite a coincidence that you first encountered Cree five years ago because that is right around the time I joined the company, and the reason I joined is my belief in the disruptive nature of LEDs in lighting. Five years ago, using LEDs for general purpose white lighting was really just an idea. We could see the potential, but there was virtually no adoption of LEDs for general purpose white lighting. Today, we are seeing that potential turned into reality. One example is the city of Los Angeles deciding to replace 140,000 city street lights with LEDs. You can check that out at this website: We think LED adoption is still no more than one percent of the lighting market, but it is starting to gain momentum. Looking forward, we think the LED Lighting Revolution will continue, and Philips Lighting, one of the largest lighting companies in the world, if not the largest, predicts that approximately ninety percent of lighting will be LED based by 2020.


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