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On Sunpower, San Diego and real estate…

I’m in San Diego, well Coronado, all week for The Corporate Library conference on the Future of Corporate Governance. And one of the things I did yesterday when I got into the cab from the airport was talk to the driver about the local economy. My cab driver – who arrived from Ethiopia three years ago — had lots to say about the topic. In a nutshell: San Diego still has a long way to go before it turns the corner. He’s having to work a lot harder for the same amount of money since both tourism and business travel is way down.

So perhaps it wasn’t so surprising to come across this 8-K from Sunpower (SPRWA) filed yesterday. While Sunpower is based in San Jose, Dennis Arriola, the new CFO that was hired last October hails from San Diego and judging from yesterday’s filing, his house here is still on the market.

As the filing notes, last year, Sunpower had agreed to reimburse Arriola for up to $500K on the loss of the sale of his home. But apparently, the home still hasn’t sold, so a new agreement was drafted and now Sunpower will buy the house from the CFO and throw in up to another $150K to cover the loss on the sale.

Now I may be going out on a limb here, but it’s probably fairly safe to assume that my cab driver never saw this Sunpower filing. Then again, he didn’t have to. He lives the local economy every day.