StockerYale COO announces retirement

Fiberoptics company StockerYale’s chief operating officer will retire at the end of the year, the firm announced last week.

Salem -based StockerYale announced Dec. 1 that Ricardo A. Diaz, who came out of semi-retirement to work the company two years ago, is leaving at the end of 2005, but will continue to act as a consultant for the firm.

Diaz is leaving because he “pretty much accomplished what we brought him in to accomplish — to operate more profitably and streamline our operation,” said Fred Pilon, StockerYale’s director of investor relations.

Pilon said that Diaz’s resignation has nothing to do with a class action lawsuit that names him as well as other officers of the company.

The suit alleges that company CEO Mark Blodgett and his father, and board member, Lawrence Blodgett manipulated or used insider information to cash in on their shares, benefiting from a misleading April 2004 press release that drove the stock price up.

An amended complaint filed in-mid November, alleges that Diaz was on a cell phone with Mark Blodgett during a conference call during which concerns about the accuracy of the press release were called into question. Mark Blodgett agreed to pay some $900,000 in a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission complaint outlining similar charges last May.

Diaz’s departure follows the resignation in October of Richard P. Lindsey as the firm’s chief financial officer. Lindsey also was named in the lawsuit, though there are no allegations in the lawsuit specifically referring to him. — BOB SANDERS

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