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Published: Thursday, 3/8/2012 - Updated: 4 years ago

Deng quits as leader of Xunlight

He and wife started solar firm in 2006

Xunming Deng Xunming Deng
THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT Enlarge | Buy This Photo

EDITOR'S NOTE: This version removes information regarding state and federal financing.

Xunming Deng has resigned as Xunlight Corp.'s president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board, effective immediately.

Toledo-based Xunlight makes photovoltaic panels. The company was started in 2006 by Mr. Deng and his wife, Liwei Xu.

Mr. Deng made the announcement in an email obtained by The Blade. Mr. Deng confirmed his resignation Wednesday but declined further comment. He said he'd be able to share more information in a few days.

In the email, Mr. Deng said he would continue as an adviser to Xunlight Corp. at the option of its board of directors. He also will continue as chairman and CEO of Xunlight 26 Solar, a Xunlight subsidiary with offices in Toledo, and chairman and legal representative of Xunlight Kunshan. Xunlight has a plant in Kunshan, China.

The company, which is privately held and does not release financial data, has faced significant challenges in recent years. The company is an offshoot of research conducted at the University of Toledo.

It laid off 30 employees at its Toledo facility and 70 at its plant in China in May, 2011. It cited a delayed payment from an Italian company as the trigger behind layoffs. The company had 60 employees in Toledo and 60 in China in September, 2011. It stopped paying salaries to its top executives earlier that year.

Rick Stansley, chairman of the University of Toledo Innovation Enterprise, said he was aware of the resignation and wasn't surprised. Moves like this are common among executives in the alternative energy industry, he said. Companies such as Xunlight face challenging market conditions as they compete against an ever-growing number of competitors, Mr. Stansley said.

"These companies are all in a very difficult situation," he said. "The market is tough right now and it's all starting to sort out. [Xunlight has] a good process and a good product."

Calls to Xunlight's offices seeking comment about Mr. Deng were not returned.

Contact Kris Turner at: kturner@theblade.com or 419-724-6103.

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