Rockwell Medical Inc. has hired a new chief financial officer following a whistleblower lawsuit and a $1.5 million settlement with its previous CFO and CEO.
The Wixom, Mich.-based bioscience technology company appointed Angus Smith to oversee financial operations effective later this month, according to a Friday announcement from the company.
Smith, a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical executive, replaces Thomas Klema, who was fired in May along with former CEO Rob Chioni after they filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging the company violated SEC rules.
Chioni was replaced by veteran drug industry executive Stuart Paul in August.
Smith comes from New Jersey-based Pernix Therapeutics, where he is senior vice president, chief business officer and principal financial officer. Prior to that, he was a director in healthcare investment banking at Cantor Fitzgerald, a New York City-based financial services company.
"He brings a diverse knowledge base to the CFO role given his experience with debt and equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, licensing agreements, joint ventures and strategic partnerships," Paul said in a news release.
Smith's hire came after a "thorough search process" coordinated by Connecticut-based recruiter Ignite Search Partners.
Klema and Chioni reached a settlement with Rockwell (NASDAQ: RMTI) in August over disagreements on how to sell Triferic, the company's most promising drug. The deal included $1.5 million in payments to the former executives.
"With these matters now firmly behind us, the board and management team will focus on executing on the company's near- and long-term objectives to realize the potential of our innovative renal drug therapies and drive value for our shareholders," Rockwell Chairman Benjamin Wolin said in an August statement.
Rockwell was founded in 1996 and is focused on drugs targeting end-stage renal disease and chronic kidney disease.
Over the past several years, Rockwell has financially underperformed, and activist shareholders pressed Chioini to improve the company's governance, strategy and operations.
Since May 22, Rockwell's share price has dropped from $5.94 to $3.96 in mid-day trading Friday. The stock's five-year high was $18.01 in July 2015.
"Rockwell Medical hires new CFO after $1.5 million settlement with previous execs" originally appeared in Crain's Detroit Business.