Summer Infant, Inc. Announces Appointment of New Chief Financial Officer
September 13, 2012
Paul Francese Brings 35 Years of Financial Experience to Summer Infant.
WOONSOCKET, RI -- September 13, 2012 -- Summer Infant, Inc. (Summer Infant) (NASDAQ: SUMR), a global leader in premium juvenile products, today announced the appointment of Paul Francese as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Francese replaces Interim CFO Edmund J. Schwartz, who has been leading the financial organization in that capacity since March 2012. Mr. Schwartz will stay on with Summer Infant in a consulting capacity until at least the end of 2012 to help ensure a smooth transition. As CFO, Mr. Francese will provide financial and organizational leadership to ensure that the Company has the right people, processes, infrastructure, and controls in place to grow the organization, ensure its financial strength, and maximize its competitive position.
“Paul brings strong financial acumen and 35 years of experience with a broad range of companies and situations to his new role as Chief Financial Officer of Summer Infant,” said Summer Infant Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jason Macari. “Paul has demonstrated the ability to build high-performing teams, establish efficient processes and controls, and effectively structure businesses to achieve profitable growth. We look forward to working with Paul as we strive to improve our financial and operational capabilities, and Summer Infant's successful business development, sales growth, and profitability in the years to come.”
For the past eight years, Mr. Francese was Chief Financial Officer of OCI Enterprises, where he helped to implement and execute strategies that resulted in major EBITDA improvement. Prior to that, he was Chief Financial Officer of Cannondale Corporation. During the past 35 years, he also has held positions of increasing responsibility at Pitney Bowes, FCI/Berg Electronics Group, Huffy Corporation, Litton Industries, United Technologies and General Electric. Mr. Francese holds a BA from Rutgers University and an MBA from the University of New Haven.
In connection with his employment as CFO, Mr. Francese was granted (i) an option to purchase 40,000 shares of the Company’s common stock, with an exercise price equal to the closing price of the Company’s common stock on the date of grant, and (ii) 20,000 shares of restricted stock. Subject to Mr. Francese’s continued service with the Company, each of the option and the restricted stock award vests in equal annual installments over a four year period beginning on the first anniversary of the date of grant. The Compensation Committee of the Company’s Board of Directors granted these awards as an inducement material to Mr. Francese’s acceptance of employment in accordance with NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4).
Based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, the Company is a designer, marketer and distributor of branded durable juvenile health, safety and wellness products (for ages 0-3 years) that provide innovative solutions and peace-of-mind for today’s parents and caregivers. Sold principally to large U.S. retailers, the Company currently offers proprietary products in a number of different categories, including nursery audio/video monitors, safety gates, feeding and teething products, durable bath products, bed rails, nursery products, booster and potty seats, infant bedding, bouncers, travel accessories, highchairs, swings, nursery furniture and car seats.
Certain statements in this release that are not historical fact may be deemed "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and the Company intends that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbor created thereby. These statements include, but are not limited to, those relating to the expected success of Mr. Francese as Summer Infant’s new CFO, and the company’s ability to improve financial and operational capabilities, and achieve successful business development, sales growth and profitability in the years to come. The Company cautions that these statements are qualified by important factors that could cause
actual results to differ materially from those reflected by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include the concentration of the Company's business with retail customers; the ability of the Company to compete in its industry; the Company's dependence on key personnel; the Company's reliance on foreign suppliers; the Company's ability to develop and market new products, the Company's ability to meet required financial covenants under its loan agreement, the Company's ability to integrate strategic acquisitions; and other risks as detailed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011, and subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company assumes no obligation to update the information contained in this press release.