PLEASANTON, Calif. (January 20, 2003) – Panoptx, the pioneer of the hybrid category of sunglasses and goggles known as Windless Eyewear(tm), today named Bob Hall as its CEO. Hall has been in the outdoor industry for 26 years, working for established brands including Allegra, the Vuarnet-France distributor of premier sunglasses, Ride Snowboards, Inc., Smiley Hats, and Salomon North America. Hall begins his new duties immediately. As CEO, Hall will oversee the growth of Panoptx as it moves into other categories, in particular snowsports, outdoor and marine. Panoptx is the dominant windless eyewear brand in the motorcycle industry and enjoys a long-term relationship with Harley-Davidson retailers. “Bob has a wealth of experience in the wintersports and outdoor categories, ” noted Dr. Rudy Kopfer, founder of Panoptx. “He is especially skilled at working with companies that are ripe for growth, but need strategic leadership. His management skills, proven track record and specific industry knowledge will help to bring Panoptx to the next level of expansion. We look forward to having him on our team.” As president and CEO of Ride, Hall engineered a turnaround and prepared the company for its eventual sale to K2. The company employed over 350 individuals and was publicly traded (NASDAQ:”RIDE”). Preceding Ride, Hall owned and managed Smiley Hats, a manufacturer of quality headwear and accessories. Before Smiley, Hall served as president and CEO of Allegra, the Vuarnet-France distributor of premier sunglasses. During his five-year tenure, Hall created the Vuarnet apparel extension and the Ziari and X-Isle brands, growing sales from $19 million to $57 million. At Salomon North America, Hall worked his way up over the course of 13 years from sales representative to president and CEO in 1981. During his five years as CEO, sales tripled from $22 million to $64 million; an IPO was accomplished and the Taylor Made Golf company was acquired. “Panoptx is a performance product that is establishing a new class of hybrid eyewear,” said Hall. “We have a 100 percent share of a new category ripe for growth and are perfectly positioned for expansion. Now is the perfect time to explore new horizons and to attract a new customer base. The opportunity to work with the great team we have here was too good to pass up. ” Hall earned his B.A. from the University of Colorado and completed Seminars for Young Presidents at Harvard Business School. Hall also served as chairman of the board of Snowsports Industries of America from 1987-1989, chairman of the American Ski Federation in 1989 and as executive director of ORCA for one year, now the Outdoor Industry Association. In addition, Hall served on the boards of several sports industry companies including Smith Sport Optics, Rapidtron, Athletic Training Equipment Supply, Sportif, and Spelcor. Non-profit boards include the Pacific Crest Trail Alliance. Established in 1997 by Dr. Rudolph Kopfer, Panoptx Windless Eyewear, Inc. established the Windless EyewearÔ technology, which combines the protection of goggles with the style of sunglasses. Today, the company designs and manufactures superior eyewear designed to offer the highest level of protection and comfort, especially during high-speed outdoor activities. Panoptx combines advanced frame materials with the most sophisticated lens technology available to enhance vision during physical activity. The product is “Windless” because each pair features a patented “orbital seal” that keeps out wind, dirt, snow and other damaging elements. It is one of the only sunglass companies to manufacture its products in the United States. All Panoptx are available in prescription, and are sold through authorized Harley-Davidson dealers and at sunglass stores, ski and sport shops as well as on the Web site, www.panoptx.com.
Panoptx Eyewear Announces Bob Hall As CEO