Zumtobel CEO calls for peaceful end to war

March 23, 2022
Alfred Felder cites ‘destroyed cities, war machinery, and endless suffering’ as the company ceases business with Russia.

The LED lighting industry has again spoken out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as the CEO of Zumtobel Group called for an end to the war and the company has ceased operations in Russia.

“With great concern we are witnessing the events in Ukraine,” said Zumtobel CEO Alfred Felder. “The pictures of more than two million refugees, of destroyed cities and war machinery only give us a rough idea of what the people must be going through at the moment. The endless suffering of the people and the destruction deeply affect us. In these difficult days, our thoughts are with all those who cannot live in freedom and peace. We appeal that peaceful negotiations lead to an end to the war.”

Zumtobel sent Felder’s remarks to LEDs Magazine after we emailed the company a list of questions regarding their response to the invasion.

Felder also posted his statement on Zumtobel’s website on Mar. 14. The number of refugees that have fled Ukraine since the war began on Feb. 24 is now 3.6 million, according to today’s count by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The number is approaching 10% of Ukraine’s prewar population.

A company spokesperson added that Zumtobel has stopped dealings with Russia.

“Due to the current sanctions, we will suspend our business in Russia until further notice,” she said. “This means that no new orders can be placed. The sales revenues in Russia and Ukraine are low — in total around €8 million. With regard to the development of the global economy the exact extent is uncertain by the time being.”

Dornbirn, Austria–based Zumtobel is Europe’s third-largest lighting company after Signify and ams Osram (depending on whether the predominantly sensor and chip company still counts as a “lighting” operation). It had revenues of €1 billion in the fiscal year that ended Apr. 30, 2021.

Signify and ams Osram have both announced war relief efforts, with Signify examining the lighting needs at refugee centers, and ams Osram contributing matching funds to employee war relief contributions.

How is the war affecting your company, and what humanitarian and business measures are you taking? Drop us a line.

More on Ukraine/Russia from Endeavor Business Media industry sectors

IndustryWeek: AFP reports Biden Administration cautions against Russia cyber threats

Security InfoWatch: What security professionals can learn from the war in Ukraine

Laser Focus World: Industry veteran David Belforte comments on potential impact of sanctions against Russia on industrial lasers

Electronic Design collects coverage around EBM

MARK HALPER is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist ([email protected]).

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About the Author

Mark Halper | Contributing Editor, LEDs Magazine, and Business/Energy/Technology Journalist

Mark Halper is a freelance business, technology, and science journalist who covers everything from media moguls to subatomic particles. Halper has written from locations around the world for TIME Magazine, Fortune, Forbes, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Guardian, CBS, Wired, and many others. A US citizen living in Britain, he cut his journalism teeth cutting and pasting copy for an English-language daily newspaper in Mexico City. Halper has a BA in history from Cornell University.