Oakley Inc. said Tuesday that its vice chairman, Mike Parnell, will step down from his position to focus on a foundation that backs research and treatment for a rare kidney disorder that affects both of his sons.
Parnell, who was chief executive from 1986 to 1997, will continue as a director. He also has agreed to be a consultant for the company for two years, Oakley said.
His departure is one of a number of top-tier changes that have occurred at Foothill Ranch-based Oakley in recent years. In October, Chairman Jim Jannard became the company's fourth chief executive since Oakley went public four years earlier.
The company has no immediate plans to appoint a new vice chairman, spokesman Lance Allega said. Later this year, Oakley might add more board members, he said.
Parnell, who started with Oakley in 1985, is involved with the Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus Foundation, which was founded in 1991 to support the education, research, treatment and cure of NDI.
Parnell said in a prepared statement that with both sons affected by the disease, he wants to "focus my efforts on them" and promote the services available through NDIF.
"There is no more worthwhile investment that I can make," he said.
The company declined to give additional information about Parnell's family and said it supports his decision to step down.
Oakley credited Parnell with creating distribution channels that boosted its standing in the industry and for hiring a strong sales force.
Oakley Inc., reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $2.5 million, or 4 cents a share. C4