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CEO, CFO out at synthetics company Scio

By Michelle Graff

June 23, 2014

Greenville, S.C.--Lab-grown diamond company Scio Diamond Technology Corp. has another new CEO at the helm following the recent termination of Michael McMahon.

In a Form 8-K filed June 16 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Greenville-based Scio said that 52-year-old Gerald McGuire, a consultant and current member of the company’s board of directors, had been appointed interim CEO.

McMahon’s termination was effective immediately.

In addition, Scio fired its chief financial officer, Jonathan Pfohl, and replaced him with 56-year-old Douglas Walker, a consultant to the company. Walker will serve as CFO in an interim capacity.

Prior to joining Scio, McGuire, who has 25 years of experience in the semiconductor industry and was appointed to the Scio board in May, was a senior vice president and general manager of the low-voltage and mid-power analog business at Fairchild Semiconductor. Walker spent the last 20 years working as the managing director of SWBi International, a management consulting company specializing in executive search in North America. He also is a CPA and a certified gemologist, according to the filing.

McGuire becomes the latest in a line of individuals to lead Scio, which grows diamonds using the chemical vapor deposition process and got its start after absorbing another lab-grown diamond company, Boston-based Apollo Diamonds, in September 2011.

Joe Lancia led the company as president and CEO from its inception until his departure in November 2012. Stephen Kelley then was named CEO and served in that role until January 2013, when he was replaced by the now-departed McMahon.

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In addition to its new interim CEO and CFO, Scio appointed Bruce Likly to serve as co-chairman of its board of directors, which is led by Chairman Edward Adams.

Earlier this year, the shareholders of Scio were making a push to replace Adams, along with board members Theodore Strous and Robert Linares, Adams’ father-in-law and the founder of Scio predecessor Apollo Diamond, because the company isn’t making any money, the shareholders stated in an SEC filing. 

The board has been expanded since that time, adding McGuire, Likly, and, in May, James Korn, the chief executive officer of Temp-Air Inc., a leading manufacturer of temporary industrial and commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment.