Mark Emalfarb, who was fired from his position as CEO of Dyadic International amid a tax scandal last year, has won his job back.
At a meeting Friday morning, Dyadic shareholders re-elected Emalfarb to another term on the company's board, along with two of his supporters, Seth Herbst and Robert Burke, giving the group a controlling vote.
“Guess what? We’re back,” he said on the phone after the vote. “It feels good.”
The scandal involved Puridet, a Chinese subsidiary wholly owned by Dyadic. According to details from an independent investigation Dyadic released in March, Puridet set up two dummy companies – which it claimed were its largest customers – to help cash-paying customers avoid paying Chinese taxes (see Dyadic Investigation Reveals Tax-Scandal Details).
In February, two hedge funds – which, together with Emalfarb, represented ownership of 52.4 percent of Dyadic's common stock – asked for him to be given a controlling position on the board after the company was delisted from the American Stock Exchange, according to an SEC filing.
And in April, a group of investors, including institutional investors, friends and family members who together owned 50.1 percent of the company, gave Emalfarb irrevocable proxies authorizing him to vote on their behalf, according to another filing.
In conversations with Greentech Media, Emalfarb has emphatically denied the allegations that he knew anything about the scandal and said he has been a scapegoat for those auditing the company's financials.
He also said he never had a chance to review and counter the findings before the report was published.
But the company's former top executives couldn't disagree more.
Earlier this month, Dyadic CEO Wayne Moor, Chief Financial Officer Lisa De La Pointe and three other executives all said they would leave no later than June 20, the day the shareholders vote was scheduled to take place and when they expected Emalfarb would be back as a company employee (see In With the Old for Dyadic?).
De La Pointe and others sited Emalfarb and the possibility of being linked to his next potential "illicit adventure" as part of their cause of leave.
Now, after having regained his authority, Emalfarb and the board have far more work ahead if they hope to repair the damage to the company.
But Emalfarb said he's ready and "cautiously optimistic" that things are going to be different this time around. For one thing, he said, he trusts the new board members all of whom have shares in the company. "They have an invested interest," he said.
He said Friday's board meeting was the first of many to figure out the best path. "All strategic options are on the table and we want to do the right things for the right re asons," he said.
Dyadic trades over the counter under the ticker "DYAI."