Charles & Colvard, the Morrisville, N.C., company that promotes moissanite gems and jewelry, is searching for a new chief executive officer. The position was left vacant by the resignation May 14 of chairman and CEO Jeff Hunter. Hunter, who had held those positions since June 1996, told the board earlier this year that he might resign. Lower-than-expected earnings prompted his decision to step down. “As a publicly held company, all of us are accountable to the owners … and I believe accountability starts at the top,” Hunter said in a statement. “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.” New chairman Dr. Frederick A. Russ says Hunter’s service helped the firm move from a start-up to a publicly traded company, establish a supply and distribution ch

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