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LightPath: Jobs Cut, CEO Out

Photonics.com
Sep 2007
ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 21, 2007 -- In the wake of poor performance in the fourth quarter, LightPath Technologies Inc. announced it has cut 25 jobs based in Orlando. LightPath also announced that its CEO, Kenneth Brizel, left the company Tuesday.

LightPath CFO Dorothy Cipolla said the company has reduced its Orlando workforce by 25 positions over the last few months, bringing its total employees to 88 and reducing its 2008 payroll expenses by $900,0000. Cipolla said the company is shifting more of its production to its operations in Shanghai, China, and looking to downsize its Orlando facility. LightPath products include precision molded aspheric and infrared optics, fiber-optic collimators and isolators, and Gradium-brand glass products.

"The Orlando facility has twice as much space as is needed and costs approximately $1 million per year. Over the next few months, we will be evaluating other locations, as our lease expires in November 2008," Cipolla said in a statement.

The company said sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 are projected to be down 33 percent from the same time last year, $2.2 million compared with $3.4 million, and its backlog of orders plunged 57 percent from June 30, 2006, to June 30, 2007, which it said was due to a slowdown in the telecommunications industry.

LightPath attributed the fourth quarter revenue decline to "much lower" communications sales and "about $362,000 of late shipments due to manufacturing operational issues." The company said it expects those late orders to ship by the end of September.

While overall sales for 2007 increased 10 percent, to $13.4 million, that increase was primarily attributable to increases in aspheric lenses, offset by decreases in products sold to the telecommunications industry, LightPath said. New orders from telecommunications customers slowed in the second quarter, resulting in lower fourth quarter revenues.

LightPath said its cash on hand as of June 30 was $1.3 million, not including its July equity raise. (See "LightPath Raises $3.2M")

LightPath also announced CEO Kenneth Brizel left the company by mutual agreement, effective Sept. 18, and it is conducting a search for a replacement. Brizel had served as CEO since July 2002, when he joined the company from Oplink Communications. Jim Gaynor, senior vice president of global operations, has been appointed interim CEO, LightPath said.

"We remain very committed to our strategy of being a diversified supplier of passive optical components, as well as being the lowest cost producer of those components. Our goal is to improve the execution of our strategy," said LightPath Chairman Robert Ripp.

The company said it plans to release its final numbers for fiscal 2007 Sept. 28.

For more information, visit: www.lightpath.com



GLOSSARY
aspheric
Not spherical; an optical element having one or more surfaces that are not spherical. The spherical surface of a lens may be slightly altered so as to reduce spherical aberration. Aspheric surfaces are frequently, but not necessarily, surfaces of revolution about the lens axis.
glass
A noncrystalline, inorganic mixture of various metallic oxides fused by heating with glassifiers such as silica, or boric or phosphoric oxides. Common window or bottle glass is a mixture of soda, lime and sand, melted and cast, rolled or blown to shape. Most glasses are transparent in the visible spectrum and up to about 2.5 µm in the infrared, but some are opaque such as natural obsidian; these are, nevertheless, useful as mirror blanks. Traces of some elements such as cobalt, copper and...
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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