Where we started
When co-founders Ken Gerken and Lee Gordon were laying the groundwork for a second successful start-up over 25 years ago, solar electricity was something only true visionaries could appreciate. Sinking fossil fuel prices and the tail end of a recession had just finished off one of the industry’s leading power-generation companies, and fledgling solar panel technology was still clawing its way toward that magic 10% efficiency milestone. Solar simply didn’t look like the best number on which to place a strategic bet.
Fortunately for the emerging solar industry in 1993, both these pioneers were in a gambling mood and started Morningstar Corporation anyway. Their new company went on to set standards and break records, and established benchmarks which stand exceptionally tall 25 years later: over four million products sold to the most demanding customers in diverse industry sectors, well over 100 distributors on six continents (and even a loyal installer following in Antarctica), and the lowest hardware failure rate in the industry.
Along with this—or perhaps as a result of it—the company they founded became defined by an unprecedented team of talented employee-owners who put their own reputations— along with their passion— into every Morningstar product made.
Morningstar today enjoys stability and staying power that’s rare in the volatile solar field. That’s is as much a tribute to the company’s high-morale culture built by its founders as it is by their original vision: “To be the best, and not necessarily the largest, supplier to the global solar industry…one with a higher purpose of advancing renewable energy, focused on its customers, partners and continuously improving its products; one free of bureaucracy in order to make quick and better decisions.”
Morningstar’s team includes newer faces well-known in the industry as well as people who’ve “grown up” in and with the company over its first 25 years—a unique combination of fresh external experience and established cultural excellence positioned to drive the company to its next half-century of achievement.