Universal Electronics Announces Corporate Restructuring to Drive Shareholder Value

Electronics Inc.
(UEI), (NASDAQ: UEIC), the worldwide leader in
sensing and control technologies for the smart home, announced
operational transformation plans to support investment in innovation and
to maximize shareholder value.

“During our 30-year history, we have never been more excited about the
market opportunities ahead of us,” said Paul Arling, Chairman and CEO of
Universal Electronics Inc. “To more effectively capture these
opportunities, we are conducting a focused corporate streamlining aimed
to increase operational efficiency and to free resources for strategic
investments. We expect to enhance our competitive position; to continue
diversifying into new markets and gaining new customers; and to
establish a more efficient process of serving key accounts. Our new
initiatives are a critical part of our return to consistent and
profitable growth that has been a hallmark of Universal Electronics.”

Key Initiatives

  1. Corporate & Regional Office Relocations

    better and more efficiently serve its customers, UEI is relocating two
    of its regional offices. First, to better support China engineering
    and manufacturing centers, UEI is moving its regional engineering
    leadership, supply chain and customer support functions out of its
    current Hong Kong offices and relocating to existing UEI facilities in
    Panyu and Shuzou. This process began in late 2018 and is expected to
    be completed over the next three to six months.

    Second, to
    stem the rising cost of finance and administration services in
    Southern California and to help ensure the flow of skilled talent into
    the organization, UEI is relocating its corporate headquarters from
    Santa Ana, California to Scottsdale, Arizona. The metro Phoenix area
    is growing rapidly and is currently estimated to be the fifth-largest
    metro area by population in the United States providing ample
    opportunity to continue building a solid corporate administrative
    organization. This move will affect back-office functions and related
    positions, comprising mostly of Finance, Accounting, Legal, HR and IT,
    which are expected to transition to the new corporate headquarters
    over the next three to nine months. UEI will retain the technical,
    creative, and innovations teams located at the existing Santa Ana
    facility. Customer Service will be moved to the facility in Monterrey,
    Mexico (UEM).

  2. Manufacturing and Customer Service Operations

    UEI is
    actively upgrading its manufacturing footprint outside China. To
    offset the impact of higher US tariffs for products that are made in
    China, UEI is actively moving production to UEM, its expanded facility
    in Monterrey, Mexico, and to a newly-assigned contract manufacturing
    partner in the Philippines. While transferring production and supply
    chain for the US market to strategically selected new territories, UEI
    is also optimizing its manufacturing footprint in China to continue to
    meet the needs of customers in other international markets. As part of
    its newly-expanded UEM facility, UEI is also relocating its US-based
    customer service organization to further optimize operational
    logistics. UEI anticipates completing these transitions in the first
    half of 2019.

    As a key part of the expansion of its global
    manufacturing operations and the streamlining of its Asian operations,
    UEI is pleased to announce that Mr. Joseph Miketo has re-joined the
    company as SVP, Manufacturing and Operations. He will report to Paul
    Arling, Chairman and CEO, and will be based in Hong Kong, where he
    will lead UEI’s global manufacturing operations.

  3. Investment in New Technologies

    UEI’s core business
    strategy emphasizes value-added product differentiation, much of which
    is created by UEI’s technical, creative, and innovations teams in
    Silicon Valley and Southern California. Consistent with recent
    announcements, UEI will continue to invest in product differentiation
    to maintain and grow its leadership position in entertainment control
    and intelligent software that simplifies how consumers engage with the
    connected home. The work that is done by talented teams in California
    is an important part of the company’s future growth and innovation.
    This is a successful equation that is unlikely to change in the future.

    innovative developments in QuickSet, nevo.AI and smart home sensors,
    in early January 2019, UEI unveiled Nevo® Butler, a new
    product for the smart home. NevoButler is an end-to-end
    voice-enabled smart home hub with a built-in white label digital
    assistant that unifies entertainment control and home automation
    experiences, enabling interoperability across fragmented ecosystems.

    by QuickSet®
    , Nevo Butler delivers a versatile monitoring and control
    assistant solution for the home, capable of addressing a wide range of
    devices and use cases, ranging from voice control of an existing
    installed base of devices to innovative new Cloud services. With a
    customizable digital assistant front-end, enterprise-level integration
    services and an expanding ecosystem of add-on services, this platform
    allows service providers and consumer electronics brands to bring
    voice-enabled services to their customers while remaining in control
    of the consumer relationship.

    Available as kits that
    address specific channel needs, Nevo Butler can be bundled with a
    range of certified devices including safety and security sensors and
    smart thermostat and temperature sensors developed by the teams at
    Ecolink and RCS. These kits bundle IoT experiences such as safety and
    security and energy management in addition to voice-enabled universal
    entertainment control.

  4. Management Organization Changes

    Effective February
    1, 2019, Chief Operating Officer Lou Hughes stepped down to explore
    other opportunities. Mr. Hughes will continue to serve in a part-time
    capacity as Strategic Advisor to the CEO to ensure a smooth transition
    of his COO duties.

Arling added, “We thank Lou for his many contributions to UEI and wish
him well in his future endeavors.”

“We are really excited to have Joe back onboard to lead global
manufacturing as we transition facilities to deal with the macro tariff
situation. We know Joe and his talents are ideally suited to meet the
challenges as well as capitalize on the opportunities before us.
Overall, we are confident that the steps we are taking to streamline our
business operations will help us achieve our long-term goals of
continued profitability and growth through technology, innovation, and
best in class product quality and delivery,” concluded Arling.

About Universal Electronics

Universal Electronics Inc. is the worldwide leader in universal control
and sensing technologies for the smart home. For more information,
please visit www.uei.com/about.

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements that are made
pursuant to the Safe-Harbor provisions of the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Words and expressions reflecting
something other than historical fact are intended to identify
forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve a
number of risks and uncertainties, including the timely development,
delivery and market acceptance of UEI’s Nevo Butler product, the Smarter
Living Kits, associated service offerings, and other technologies
identified in this release; the continued penetration and growth of the
digital assistant products and consumer technologies identified in this
release; achieving the operational efficiencies anticipated by
management through its operational transition and streamlining
activities; and other factors described in the Company’s filings with
the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The actual results that
the Company achieves may differ materially from any forward-looking
statement due to such risks and uncertainties.
The Company
undertakes no obligations to revise or update any forward-looking
statements in order to reflect events or circumstances that may arise
after the date of this release.


Media Contact: Benny Canady, Universal Electronics Inc., bcanady@uei.com,
IR Contact: Kirsten Chapman, LHA Investor
Relations, uei@lhai.com, 415-433-3777

error: Content is protected !!