Founder and President of the 30 year-old solar energy category leader, Lee Gordon, set to retire in June; Director William Mellema assumes CEO role

April 25, 2023/ Newtown, Pennsylvania

Morningstar Corporation—the leading brand in off-grid solar energy components—announced its first leadership change in three decades with President and CEO Lee Gordon retiring.

Along with celebrating 30 years of solar product leadership, Morningstar is looking forward to its next decade with its founding values, ethics and principles firmly in place as Bill Mellema becomes its next CEO, taking over from the retiring Lee Gordon. Morningstar’s present Director of Product Management, William Mellema, will assume the role of leading the employee-owned innovator in solar electronics. Mr. Gordon will stay active in the company as Chairman of its Board of Directors.

“Having co-founded Morningstar 30 years ago and working to build an exceptionally positive employee culture along with a leading industry brand, selecting my successor was one of the most critical decisions in our company’s history” noted Lee Gordon. “After conducting a search which included both internal and external candidates, I’m very pleased to tell customers, friends, users and other stakeholders that the brand they trust will continue to be in trustworthy hands moving forward, with the unanimous vote of confidence in electing Bill Mellema to take my place.”

Mr. Mellema’s experience includes over 20 years at Morningstar Corporation in several key roles, including directing the company’s engineering and product management teams along with managing customers, supplier and channel partners and other stakeholders, as well as technical support and projects. He holds a BSEE and MBA degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park.

“Having thrived professionally in the company, I fully appreciate Morningstar’s high impact mission and the fact that the products we develop, sell, and support make a difference all over the world” observed Bill Mellema. “Our entrepreneurial culture means each of us has an outsized opportunity to affect the direction of our brand and company—and, as owners of the business ourselves, we have a high level of commitment and camaraderie that you don’t typically see in other organizations. Lee’s contribution to the solar industry is nothing short of legendary, and I’m grateful for having worked closely with him and dedicated to preserving and growing all that he has built.”

William Mellema (left) and Lee Gordon (right)

Continued Lee Gordon, “Bill’s management skill and style, proven over his years of experience directing Morningstar’s Engineering and, more recently, our Product Management teams, were instrumental in choosing him for this role. With Bill, Morningstar is assured of both continuity in leadership as well as a clear path into new, exciting markets and categories along with more decades of progress and growth.”
As part of celebrating its 30 years in the solar industry, Morningstar has just published a Yearbook featuring the brand’s solar milestones, history, and new products, Available on the website here:

The change in leadership takes place on July 1, 2023. For more information contact Morningstar Corporation at [email protected]

Click here for the pdf version of this press release.