Dr. Shai N. Gozani, CEO of pain-treating TENS device company NeuroMetrix (NSDQ:NURO), is cutting his annual salary to $1 from a previous $422,200 — accepting a stock option to purchase 100,000 shares instead.
The 2020 executive compensation package, approved Dec. 29 by the company board’s compensation committee, also cuts salaries in return for stock options for other company leaders, according to an SEC filing out this week.
CFO and SVP Thomas Higgins’ annual salary will go down to $150,000 from a previous $325,000, in return for an option to purchase 50,000 shares. CCO and SVP Frank McGillin’s salary will drop to $150,000 from $357,500, with an option to purchase 50,000 shares.
The salary cuts come after a year in which the company sought more profitable sales and cut marketing costs as it moved from TV to digital advertising. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, NeuroMetrix lost –$2.7 million off $7.6 million in revenue, versus a profit of $2.8 million off $12.4 million in revenue for the same period a year ago. The company’s stock has been trading at more than $4 per share, about half what it was a year ago.
By trading salaries for options to buy stock in the future at $4.58 per share, the company’s executives appear to be sending a message that they’re willing to personally bet on the long-term success of the company.
Gozani did not have anything to add when contacted by MassDevice.
NeuroMetrix touts its Quell transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device as a smartphone-controlled, easy-to-use version of a pain treatment technology that has been around for a while but often associated with metal boxes and lots of wires. The company this year turned to artificial intelligence to better tailor Quell treatments.