Rogers-based Ecoark restructures management, seeks to raise $8 million in new capital

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 611 views 

Ecoark Holdings of Rogers announced a corporate restructuring ahead of the company’s efforts to be uplisted on Nasdaq’s Capital Market. CEO and founder Randy May will step back as CEO but remain board chairman. The Ecoark board of directors chose Jay Puchir as its new CEO, and former Wal-Mart Stores Treasurer Charles Rateliff will assume the role of CFO and treasurer, filing a role vacated by Yash Puri in January.

May said Puchir is the right person to execute Ecoark’s strategic growth plan and ensure the company delivers maximum shareholder value. Puchir has already held several executive roles at other companies prior to joining Ecoark. He has a diverse resume noting experience in finance and comptroller work in the private and public sectors. In addition to an MBA from Rutgers University, Puchir also is a CPA.

“Over the past 12 months, as a post-merger public company, we’ve successfully focused on fundraising and growth through acquisition,” May said. “During his time as director of finance, secretary, and treasurer, Jay has been invaluable in helping Ecoark and our subsidiaries begin to adopt industry best practices. I’m looking forward to continuing to work closely with him as we enter this exciting next phase of the company’s maturation.”

Rateliff retired from Wal-Mart in 2005 as a senior vice president, capping off a 25-year career with the retail giant. Rateliff also worked in compliance and risk management at Wal-Mart and has been an independent board member at Ecoark since May 2016.

Ecoark also made two other key executive changes in its subsidiary companies Pioneer Products and Zest Labs. Roshan Weerasinghe will take over as CEO of Pioneer Products to focus full time on business development and not corporate operations, which he has been overseeing as COO for the subsidiary.

Greg Hames will transition to his new role as vice president of professional services for Zest Labs. Hames held a similar role at Ecoark.

“Ecoark has rapidly and successfully transitioned from the development stage to a highly valuable collection of revenue-producing subsidiaries that solve major business challenges. We’re currently focused on improving our fundamentals, increasing sales through growth and acquisitions, and attaining profitability to maximize shareholder value,” Puchir said. “The fact that Charles is coming out of retirement to become CFO demonstrates his confidence in the company and the huge market opportunity in front of us.  I’m looking forward to the opportunity to lead this highly dynamic organization with disruptive technologies through one of the most exciting processes in business.”

Ecoark is also expanding its board from seven directors to nine and will begin immediately searching for the two additional members. Earlier this month the company also entered into agreements with two institutional investors to help raise $8 million in a direct stock offering issuing million shares at a $4 per share price point. The funds will be used to fund new product research and development among the company’s diverse portfolio of subsidiary’s all which have a sustainability focus.

Shares of Rogers-based Ecoark (OTC-EARK) were trading at $4.59 in the morning session on Wednesday. Shares are trending lower since they peaked at $7.75 on March 13, the day prior to the stock offering release.