Simko Takes on New Role with Origin Materials

Make no mistake about, shares of Origin Materials (NASDAQ: ORGN) hover around their all-time low and continue to deteriorate toward the 50 cent level. Ever since the market poorly received their Q2'23 earnings report in August of 2023, the stock simply has not been able to recover or garner any new interest. The next earnings report, Q4 & full year 2023, is expected to be February 22, 2024 though an official date has not been released.

An 8-K filed last night, it was revealed that Charles Drucker resigned from the Board of Directors, effective 2/1/24. Drucker's departure "was not the result of any dispute or disagreement with the Company or the Company’s Board of Directors on any matter relating to the operations, policies or practices of the Company." Also announced yesterday was that Drucker resumed his role as CEO of Worldpay. So, at least on the surface, the timing of his departure from the Board makes sense.

In a LinkedIn post made this morning, Mike Simko revealed he has taken on a new role with the company:


With experience at DuPont, INVISTA, DSM, Hyosung, Origin Materials and as a consultant to the Chemical Industry and Private Equity, Mike Simko has held a diverse number of roles in the Chemicals, Fibers, and Industrials markets; including R&D, Manufacturing, Sales, Marketing, Business Management and Business Development. Mike has built a global marketing organization, restructured a major global business by re-aligning production facilities and directing the global sales teams with a refreshed and refined strategy for nylon textile fibers. Mike has also led two start-up ventures, bringing new innovations in textiles from lab-scale to commercialization, setting up sourcing and distribution, as well as establishing the sales, marketing, and pricing plans. Being adept at understanding technologies, competitive analysis, product positioning, and portfolio management. Mr. Simko has identified and evaluated dozens of new fiber chemistries and is adept in many sustainable textile solutions including recycled materials, bio-based and bio-degradable. Mr. Simko holds his Master of Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware, his Masters of Science Management from Thomas Edison State University, and his Bachelors of Chemical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.

A resourceful and team-oriented executive he is recognized for his ability to create successful product and marketing strategies, form synergistic business alliances, and execute on project deliverables.
• Start-up/Project Management
• Sales/Marketing Strategies
• Financial/Operational Cost Control
• New Business Development
• Profit Optimization
• Strategic Alliances
• Business Valuation
• Sustainable Materials and Circularity

Previously, Simko had been working in a "market strategy and business development" contract role. What's notable is that he previously spent five years at Hyosung Corporation. In March 2023, Origin Materials revealed a partnership with Hyosung. As part of the agreement, they signed a multi-year capacity reservation for "PET and a hybrid polymer PET/F (a blend of PET and FDCA) for use in tire cord applications, HTC for use in battery materials, as well as furanic derivatives for use in spandex applications in the apparel industry." Simko's role at Hyosung was as Global Marketing Director, where he built "customer intimacy throughout the value chain and developing innovate and sustainable textiles solutions for global brands and retailers."

Those are the facts, now comes the speculation: Is this an example of partner companies "leaning in," as has often been referred to? Perhaps so, perhaps not. It seems that with the departure of Stephen Galowitz, the Chief Commercial Officer of 10 years, there was a void that needed to be filled. I've long pointed out people at Origin Materials, but I believe at this point it is of utmost importance for the market to start seeing some product. Or, at the very least, a clearly laid out roadmap. Apparently, OM1 has been commercially producing since October. Let's see it, so the market can believe it.

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