Two Osram Sylvania alumni land at LED supplier

News releases from Sunovia, which describes itself as an LED lighting company, noted that executives formerly with Osram Sylvania had taken positions at the company—one as Sunovia’s CEO, another on the company’s board.

Mel Interiano, who spent 15 years with Osram, is the Sunovia’s new CEO. According to the Herald-Tribune of Sarasota, Fla, “Interiano’s appointment had been expected in the wake of the January firing of former Sunovia Chief Executive Arthur Buckland.”

And according to the Gulf Coast Business Review, “Interiano replaces Erich Hofer, who was named interim CEO in January. Hofer meanwhile, replaced Art Buckland, who was hired in August 2010 to lead a shift in the company from solar lights to light emitting diodes, or LEDs. The solar strategy was unsuccessful, and the firm ultimately reported $70 million in losses over four years.”

According to Sunovia, Interiano most recently served at Osram Sylvania as business development manager of innovation and international sales manager, and took home an internal company Sales Innovation Award “in recognition of his contribution to LED lighting sales.” In January, Sunovia noted the hiring of Interiano as a “consultant on operations and sales.”

Above: From,three-year stock price chart for Sunovia, from April 2010 to present.

According to an April 3, Sunovia filing with the SEC, Interiano has plenty of motivation to improve Sunovia’s stock price and stay for a while as CEO. His compensation includes options to buy 50 million shares of the company at 2 cents, 50% of which vest on the first anniversary of his employment, the other half on the second anniversary.

Days later, another Sunovia news release said Frank Santiago had been added to the company’s board of directors. It noted that he had “recently retired from OSRAM SYLVANIA as the Executive Vice President/Global Head of Sales where he was responsible for the majority of OSRAM’s sales and sales resources across all global regions.”

According to Sunovia, “The company’s award winning cobra head and shoe box fixtures employ EvoLucia’s proprietary Aimed Optics(TM) technology, which increased light levels and visibility by strategically directing light to the target area.” The company’s stock, symbol is SUNV, trades on the NASDAQ OTC Bulletin Board.

Historical price data on the company at Yahoo! Finance showed that it first sold stock to the public in January 2008, at roughly $1.00 per share. Its recent price was 3 cents.

While Sunovia’s situation may seem parlous, there are apparently some with faith in the company’s future—at least going by the fact that it sold 25,840,006 shares of its stock (at $0.02 each) to investors in December 2011, raising $516,800.

According to the company’s 10-K filing on 2011 results, Sunovia at Dec. 31, 2011, had more than 908 million shares outstanding. Sales last year totaled $2.6 million.

As of an October 2010 SEC filing, Carl L. Smith III then owned 565 million shares. The proxy statement said, “Mr. Smith served as CEO of the Company prior to the appointment of Mr. Buckland.  Mr. Smith is the founder of our business. Prior to 2005, Mr. Smith founded and was a principal of Research Capital, a venture capital firm located in Sarasota, Florida. Mr. Smith attended Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.”

No proxy statement was filed during 2011. However, in the company’s recent 10-K annual report, it did not list Smith as one of its “beneficial owners.” Arthur Buckland, the recently deposed CEO, was listed as holding 58.5 million shares—the largest position of any significant owner of Sunovia’s stock.

Tagged with

Comment on the story

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *