Charles & Colvard CFO Resigns

Charles & Colvard said Thursday that James R. Braun has resigned as vice president of finance and chief financial officer and four other positions were eliminated in an effort to manage costs and return the company to profitability.

The cuts include positions in marketing and manufacturing, the Morrisville-based company said. In addition, the management team and certain other employees agreed to a rollback in salary for three months, effective Oct. 1.

Neil Boss, company controller since 2002, will continue to serve in that role and has been appointed as the principal accounting officer and principal financial officer for the company, the sole source of moissanite, a created jewel for use in fine jewelry. A graduate of Penn State with a BS in Accounting, Boss has worked for the company since 1998.

Braun will continue to assist the company in certain business matters as requested, according to a statement.

During the three months ended September 30, 2008, the company said it will expense approximately $325,000 in severance pay.

The organizational changes, including those changes made earlier in 2008, will result in salary savings of approximately $1.7 million in 2009, partially offset by $325,000 of severance and consulting fees to be paid in 2009.

The four people who lost their jobs were not named by the company in its statement.

“We thank Mr. Braun and these four associates for their hard work and dedication,” said Dennis Reed, Charles & Colvard president. “We deeply appreciate their contributions in building the company and its strong reputation in the jewelry industry. The economic climate for the jewelry industry is quite challenging, requiring the Company to make changes in order to achieve profitability quickly and build a foundation for successful growth.”

Steven Abate,vVice president of Manufacturing since March 2007, has been appointed the vice president of Operations and will assume increased responsibilities in areas ranging from manufacturing to information technology. A graduate of New Jersey Institute of Technology, Abate has worked for the Company since 2005.

“We have every confidence in Neil’s ability to take on the responsibilities as principal accounting officer and principal financial officer and look forward to his contributions. Steven has been a valuable addition to our organization and we expect continued success in his expanded role, ” Reed said.