COMPENSATION DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS
This Compensation Discussion and Analysis describes the key elements of our executive compensation program, including an analysis of compensation awarded to, earned by or paid to our named executive officers in fiscal 2021. Our fiscal 2021 named executive officers included Donald W. Duda, President and Chief Executive Officer; Ronald L.G. Tsoumas, Chief Financial Officer; Joseph E. Khoury, Chief Operating Officer; Andrea J. Barry, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer; and Kevin M. Martin, Vice President, North America. Mr. Martin was appointed an executive officer in September 2020 and Ms. Barry was promoted to Executive Vice President in June 2021.
Our Business. We are a leading global developer of custom-engineered solutions with sales, engineering and manufacturing locations in North America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia. We design, engineer, and produce mechatronic products for OEMs utilizing our broad range of technologies for user interface, LED lighting system, power distribution and sensor applications.
Our solutions are found in the end markets of transportation (including automotive, commercial vehicle, e-bike, aerospace, bus and rail), cloud computing infrastructure, construction equipment, consumer appliance, and medical devices. Our business is managed on a segment basis, with those segments being Automotive, Industrial, Interface and Medical.
We strive to create a company with a diverse customer base, high and consistent cash flow, and a strong balance sheet. We are committed to world class manufacturing quality, and our global footprint puts us in close proximity to key markets and customers.
In fiscal 2021, we continued to capitalize on key market trends, such as new business focused on electric and hybrid vehicles (EVs) and LED lighting solutions. In the EV market, our combination of user interface, LED lighting and power distribution solutions positions us well for continued growth. Sales in fiscal 2021 from EV applications represented over 12% of our total sales.
We employ a balanced and growth-focused capital allocation strategy. We maintain a strong balance sheet and pay down indebtedness when appropriate to reduce leverage. We return capital to our stockholders through dividends and stock buyback programs, such as our recently announced $100 million stock buyback program. We invest in organic growth through R&D and capital expenditures. We actively seek accretive acquisitions to enhance and grow our businesses.
Our strong commitment to financial management focuses on, among other things, margin expansion through improved product mixes and operational efficiencies, leverage of SG&A on sales volume growth, and reduction of working capital percentage of sales through lean manufacturing.
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Performance. Beginning in the fourth quarter of our fiscal 2020, and continuing in fiscal 2021, the global COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the global economy, disrupted supply chains and substantially impacted our business. We first experienced the impacts of the pandemic in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 at our China manufacturing facilities, which were initially closed after the Chinese New Year. Our facilities in China resumed operations later in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020, but at lower capacity utilization. More significantly, in mid-March 2020, and continuing into the start of our fiscal 2021, many of our North American and European customers suspended their manufacturing operations due to government directives. Our operations in North America and Europe gradually resumed during the first quarter, with significantly reduced production levels. Our global production levels returned to pre-COVID levels by the end of our second quarter as a result of increased demand from customers, which continued for the remainder of the year. Starting in our third quarter, our global team had to address additional challenges related to the global semiconductor supply shortage and other supply chain disruptions, as well as international transportation capacity restraints.
Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. In fiscal 2021, our executive officers continued to effectively manage the unprecedented challenges and uncertainties of the pandemic on a global basis. In reviewing what was required to keep our facilities operating, management prioritized the health and safety of our employees and their families. We adopted numerous safety procedures at our 40 global facilities, including hygiene and disinfection protocols, testing and contact tracing, social distancing and wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). We implemented the sharing of best practices throughout the Company’s global facilities, resulting in effective and standardized safety guidelines and procedures, updated on a regular basis, promoting the health and safety of our employees.