512: Delivering on Solar's Promise | Ronen Faier, CFO, SolarEdge Technologies

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As Ronen Faier recalls the career-building ups-and-downs of being entrepreneurial CFO, few memories appear to be more vivid than a meeting with Guy Sella, a seasoned Israeli entrepreneur, who invites Faier to lead the finance team of his solar startup. Not yet a midsize firm, SolarEdge Technologies was only about $9 million in annual sales with roughly 100 employees when Faier receives Sella’s invitation.

Having already experienced firsthand the heartache and financial repercussions of climbing onboard a struggling startup, Faier says he was confident this time things would be different.

“I saw this amazing entrepreneur with a very deep technological understanding of the field as well as a deep understanding of business and I knew you seldom find these in one (individual),” explains Faier, who accepted Sella’s invitation in 2011.

Eight years later, SolarEdge has close to 2,000 employees and last year reported sales of $937 million. Faier says, the company’s impressive growth is perhaps most visible today inside the U.S.’s residential realm where use of SolarEdge’s offerings has jumped from less than one percent market share in 2012 to nearly 56 percent. “Our CEO understood – that if we were able to get our cost point to where we were selling at almost an equivalent price to our competitors and at the same time offer superior technology – we would (experience) rapid growth,” says Faier, who has sought to outfit SolarEdge with a finance function that prioritizes cost visibility as it manages rapid growth. – Jack Sweeney

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