Moissanite Maker Looking for New CEO

May 15, 2000

Moissanite Maker Looking for New CEO

The manufacturer of synthetic moissanite – a diamond lookalike – announced the appointment of new officers today as the company prepares to accelerate its marketing efforts.

Jeff Hunter resigned as chairman, CEO and a director of Charles & Colvard, formerly C3 Inc. He had served as chairman and CEO since June 1996.

Frederick A. Russ was appointed chairman and Robert S. Thomas acting CEO, in addition to his existing duties as president. Walter J. O'Brien – former vice chairman of the board of J. Walter Thompson and a consultant to the company since 1999 – was appointed to fill Hunter's vacant board seat.

The board has launched a search to fill the CEO spot.

Hunter, a cofounder of Charles & Colvard, will serve as a consultant to the company and remains one of its largest shareholders.

"Although Charles & Colvard has made great progress during my tenure over the last four years, the board and I believe that the time has come for new leadership," said Hunter in a release. "We believe the company now has its production, manufacturing, branding and distribution strategies in place and is positioned to accelerate the introduction of moissanite jewels into the marketplace."

Charles & Colvard also announced an agreement with Cree Inc. to sell all of the crystal growth systems owned by the company to Cree for $5 million. Thomas says the agreement improves Charles & Colvard's liquidity and gives the company more flexibility.

- by Mark E. Dixon