Oct 2, 2008
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Charles & Colvard CFO resigns; cuts 4 jobs

Oct 2, 2008


Oct 2 (Reuters) - Charles & Colvard Ltd's Chief Financial Officer James Braun resigned, and the moissanite gemstone producer cut four other jobs as part of a corporate reorganization to manage costs and return to profitability.

The company's management team and certain other employees have agreed to a rollback in salary for three months, effective Oct. 1, Charles & Colvard, which has posted a loss in the past three quarters, said in a statement.

As of Feb. 29, the company had 62 employees.

Charles & Colvard, whose shares have lost more than 84 percent of their value over the past year, is the sole producer of moissanite gemstones -- a rare, naturally occurring mineral found in meteorites that can be developed in laboratories due to its silicon carbide composition.

The Morrisville, North Carolina-based company said it will expense about $325,000 in severance pay during the three months ended Sept. 30.

Charles & Colvard said the organizational changes, including those made earlier in 2008, will result in savings of about $1.7 million in 2009, partially offset by $325,000 of severance and consulting fees to be paid during the year.

Ex-CFO Braun will continue to assist the company in certain business matters, Charles & Colvard said. The four other eliminated positions included those in marketing and manufacturing.

Shares of the company were trading down 9 cents at 51 cents Thursday morning on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Dilipp S. Nag in Bangalore; Editing by Pratish Narayanan)

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