WOONSOCKET, R.I., June 29, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Summer Infant, Inc. (“Summer Infant” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ:SUMR), a global leader in premium infant and juvenile products, today announced that Mark Messner has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer, effective July 13, 2016. Robert Stebenne, Summer Infant’s current President and CEO, will remain a member of the Company’s Board of Directors.  

Mr. Messner, 50, brings strong leadership and marketing experience in the juvenile products’ space to Summer Infant. Most recently he served as Chief Executive Officer of Artsana USA, Inc. (Chicco), a manufacturer of baby care products under the Chicco brand. In this role he oversaw finance, operations, marketing, e-commerce, product development and sales for the United States and Canada. Mr. Messner joined Artsana USA in 2003 as Vice President of Marketing & Product Development and served as its Chief Operating Officer for three years before taking over as CEO in 2012. He began his career with Graco Children’s Products in 1991. 

“Mark is a passionate and customer-focused leader whose experience in building brands and creating innovative products will help drive Summer Infant’s next stage of growth,” said Dan Almagor, Chairman of Summer Infant’s Board of Directors. “Over his 13-year career at Artsana USA, Mark built a strong team and culture of creativity and product development. I am delighted that Mark will be at the helm of Summer Infant as we build on the great progress recently achieved. We also want to express our sincere appreciation to Bob Stebenne for guiding the Company through a challenging period this past year. Through his efforts, Bob created significant positive momentum for Summer Infant, which Mark can leverage to expand the Company’s market presence and capitalizes on new growth opportunities.” 

“I look forward to working with Mark and the Board as we continue to advance our product differentiation strategy and focus on building value for our shareholders,” added Bob Stebenne, President and CEO. “Mark is clearly the ideal choice to lead Summer Infant going forward. He is a successful executive who understands the three critical competencies required to run our Company – a focus on growth, new product innovation, and a mission-driven orientation.”

“Summer Infant has a strong portfolio of core brands, a successful track record of new product development, and global growth potential,” said Mark Messner. “I’m excited to join the Company and work closely with the Board and its talented team of employees to build on Summer Infant’s solid foundation and create even greater value in the years to come.”

In connection with his offer of employment, Mr. Messner was granted (i) an option to purchase 100,000 shares of the Company’s common stock, with an exercise price equal to the closing price of the Company’s common stock on the date of grant, (ii) 50,000 shares of restricted stock and (iii) a performance-based restricted stock unit award of up to 100,000 restricted stock units.  Subject to Mr. Messner’s continued service with the Company, his stock option and restricted stock awards will each vest in equal annual installments over a four-year period beginning on the first anniversary of the date of grant.  The performance-based restricted stock unit award will vest upon the achievement of a specified adjusted EBITDA margin in each of fiscal year 2017 and fiscal year 2018, with 50,000 units vesting if the specified margin is achieved in fiscal year 2017 and 50,000 units vesting if the specified margin is achieved in fiscal year 2018.  The Compensation Committee of the Company’s Board of Directors granted these awards as an inducement material to Mr. Messner’s acceptance of employment in accordance with NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4).

About Summer Infant, Inc.
Based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, the Company is a global leader of premium infant and juvenile products for ages 0-3 years which are sold principally to large North American and international retailers. The Company currently sells proprietary products in a number of different categories including nursery audio/video monitors, safety gates, durable bath products, bed rails, nursery products, strollers, booster and potty seats, swaddling blankets, bouncers, travel accessories, highchairs, swings, and infant feeding products.  For more information about the Company, please visit www.summerinfant.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements concern management’s current assumptions, estimates, beliefs, plans, strategies and expectations and anticipated events or trends and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. Such forward-looking information may be identified by terms such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “outlook,” “may,” “estimate,” “should,” “predict” and similar terms or variations thereof, and includes statements regarding the effectiveness of our strategy to promote future growth and profitability, the strength of our customer and supplier relationships, the ability of our new leadership team and expected trends and product innovation. These statements are based on a series of expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections about our Company, are not guarantees of future results or performance, and involve significant risks, uncertainties and other factors, including assumptions and projections, for all forward periods. Our actual results may differ materially from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. We intend our forward-looking statements to speak only as of the time of such statements and do not undertake or plan to update or revise them as more information becomes available or to reflect changes in expectations, assumptions or results. We cannot give any assurance that such expectations or forward-looking statements will prove to be correct. An occurrence of, or any material adverse change in, one or more of the risk factors or risks and uncertainties referred to in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 2, 2016, and other periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could materially and adversely impact our operations and our future financial results.

CONTACT: Contact:
Chris Witty
Investor Relations