Airtrax names Robert Watson as CEO

News Story
- 2 Nov 2006 ( #284 ) - BLACKWOOD, NJ, United States
2 min read
The Airtrax ATX-3000 Sidewinder forklift.
The Airtrax ATX-3000 Sidewinder forklift.
Airtrax Inc has appointed Robert M Watson as CEO, president and a director from November 1.

The move aims to stabilise the developer of omni-directional vehicle wheel technology. Blackwood-based Airtrax's stock trades publicly as an over-the-counter bulletin board issue.

Airtrax founder, technology advocate Peter L Amico Sr, died of natural causes at his Hammonton, New Jersey, home on August 25 (Forkliftaction.com News #275).

Watson, a corporate restructuring veteran, was previously president and CEO of clothing manufacturer Hartz & Company from 2001 until October 2006. Hartz has two production facilities in the United States and sales & marketing offices in New York City.

Nicholas E Fenelli, who had served since August on an interim basis as Airtrax CEO and chief financial officer, remains with the company as chief operations officer. Airtrax is recruiting a new CFO.

On August 31, the Airtrax board elected director Andrew G Guzzetti to succeed Amico as chairman. Guzzetti is managing director of the private equity group at investment bank and retail brokerage McGinn Smith and Co Inc, of Albany, New York.

Airtrax's modular, omni-directional system allows vehicle wheels to move in lateral, diagonal and rotational directions. Airtrax introduced the technology on its ATX-3000 Sidewinder forklift product line.

Market and funding challenges and problems in Europe have negatively impacted on Airtrax's manufacturing and marketing capabilities, an Airtrax statement said.

Airtrax expected to write off another USD1 million in partially secured loans to FiLCO GmbH, of Mulheim, Germany, for the quarter that ended on September 30, after writing off about USD5.5 million in loans to FiLCO as of June 30, the statement said. Airtrax had intended to acquire FiLCO, a forklift manufacturer, but terminated a 2004 purchase agreement in February after FiLCO filed an insolvency petition in January.

Airtrax's statement said a new strategic plan focused on "higher margin technology applications that meet the specific and unique demands of military and commercial markets".

A new Airtrax marketing plan would increase consumer awareness by communicating the key benefits of its patented omni-directional technology, the statement said.
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Previously about:
Airtrax restates filings for two years News Story - 22 Jun 2007 - BLACKWOOD, NJ, United States - 1 min read
Obituary: Airtrax founder Peter Amico dies News Story - 31 Aug 2006 - BLACKWOOD, NJ, United States - 1 min read
Airtrax delivers Sidewinders, copes with FiLCO News Story - 10 Aug 2006 - BLACKWOOD, NJ, United States - 2 min read
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