Marrone Bio Innovations Inc., the Davis-based developer of eco-friendly farm pesticides, announced the hiring Wednesday of a new president and chief operating officer.
James Iademarco, 53, founder of a North Carolina-based global consulting firm specializing in agriculture and biotechnology clients, will oversee Marrone’s sales, marketing, manufacturing and corporate infrastructure. He starts his new job Thursday.
Hired as the company grapples with declining sales, disgruntled shareholders and financial reporting problems, Iademarco will have “a particular focus on driving sustainable revenue growth,” Marrone Bio said in a statement.
He will receive a base salary of $290,000 a year, according to Marrone’s filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.
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“We are very pleased to have an experienced executive join MBI from the agriculture, industrial fermentation and materials industries to drive excellence throughout our operations,” Pam Marrone, founder and CEO of MBI, said in a statement. “I expect that we will be a powerful team as we continue to implement our growth strategy and sharpen our focus on driving value to our shareholders.”
Iademarco’s hiring comes amid a troubled period for the biotech company. In September, Marrone Bio announced an in-house probe of its finances after discovering documents “calling into question” the reporting of $870,000 in revenue during the fourth quarter of 2013. That disclosure, coupled with a previously reported decline in sales, sent Marrone Bio’s stock price plummeting last year and prompted several class-action shareholder lawsuits. In early October, the company laid off 23 percent of its employees.
The company, founded in 2006, had a successful initial public stock offering in August 2013, raising $57 million. It was the first IPO in greater Sacramento in seven years.
In a statement Wednesday, Iademarco applauded Marrone Bio’s promise in developing “the most exciting segment of ag inputs – biologicals for pest management and plant health.” He said he was “very impressed” by MBI’s market position, “with a number of science-based, effective products already launched and with a strong and promising pipeline of new products.”
Iademarco until recently ran Raleigh-based Strategic Avalanche, which provides business consulting services to international clients in the ag, biotech and renewable chemical industries. He also has held management positions at other firms, including Royal DSM in Europe, Bayer Crop Science and Monsanto Co.
MBI shares closed Wednesday at $3.89 a share, up 5 cents, on the Nasdaq stock market.
Call The Bee’s Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.