October 29, 2015 / 4:09 PM / 3 years ago

3D Systems CEO steps down, shares fall

(Reuters) - 3D printer maker 3D Systems Corp said Avi Reichental, its chief executive of 12 years, had stepped down and Chief Legal Officer Andrew Johnson had taken over as interim CEO.

Reichental stepped down in a mutual agreement with the board and his resignation came into effect on Wednesday, the company said.

3D Systems shares fell as much as 6.5 percent to a near four-year low of $10.15 on Thursday.

Shares of 3D Systems, the poster boy of 3D printing, rose to a high of $97.25 in early 2014, when the technology was being touted as the next big thing, allowing people to print everything from cars to chocolates.

But the past two years were tumultuous for the company, with its stock crashing about 88 percent as investors raised questions about the viability of consumer 3D printers.

“The company says it was a mutual agreement, but we believe Avi may have been pushed out, given 3D Systems’ struggles of late and investor frustration over the last two years,” S&P Capital IQ analyst Angelo Zino said.

3D Systems claims it invented 3D printing with its “stereolithography” printer and that it was the first to commercialize the technology in 1989.

Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian and Kirti Pandey

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