FARMINGTON HILLS, MI — Microheat, a Tier One automotive supplier and manufacturer of HotShot, a windshield snow and ice removal product set to debut on a wide range of 2006 vehicles, has restructured its management team.
Solomon Franco, who founded the firm in 1998, stepped down as CEO and president on January 1. Peter Neustadter, one of the initial investors in Microheat, will serve as interim CEO and board chairman until the company recruits a permanent CEO. Neustadter said he expects the new CEO will be in place by April.
Neustadter, Aryeh Rubin and Matthew Maryles, acting as consultants, will assist in reorganizing the company’s operations. Neustadter is a veteran of the OEM market and former president of a Tier One automotive supplier; Rubin is an entrepreneur who has started and sold several successful companies; and Maryles is a former executive at a major Wall Street investment banking house. The three were initial investors in Microheat. Acting with a fourth investor, they have made an additional equity investment into the company.
General Motors has issued a contract for HotShot to be shipped in the first quarter of 2005 and other automobile manufacturers have issued RFQ’s for the innovative product. Current contracts are worth more than $170 million, and the company estimates it will have more than $500 to $700 million in back orders by next year.
More than 20 global auto manufacturers are testing HotShot, and the product will soon be available in selected aftermarket venues, said Neustadter. Additional investments will be used to expand into European and Far Eastern markets, he added.
Neustadter said the company is also seeking new board members with automobile industry or related business experience. To accommodate this change, four of Microheat’s seven board members have stepped down. The consultants will appoint three of their successors with the fourth member to be chosen by the full board.
Franco, who resigned for personal reasons, will continue to serve as a consultant to the management of Microheat with an emphasis upon R&D and new product development.
Microheat has manufacturing plants in the U.S., Israel and the Russian Federation.
For more information, go to: www.microheat.com.
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