LiteGear Appoints New CEO Mike Wagner as Al DeMayo Transitions to Chairman Role
As part of a leadership succession plan, transformational CEO Al DeMayo will become executive chairman of the company’s newly established board of directors
Mike Wagner will join the Los Angeles-based TV and cinema lighting company as CEO on August 5. LiteGear co-founder Al DeMayo, currently the company’s chief executive officer who is widely credited for growing the company from startup to a globally recognized leader and game-changer in LED lighting, will transition into a new role as chairman of the board.
Wagner joins LiteGear from ARRI where he was instrumental in developing the company’s LED product line, including the SkyPanel and L-Series products, and joins LiteGear at a time of exciting growth. “The decision to bring Mike on board to lead day-to-day business operations and expansion efforts was an easy one,” said DeMayo. “Mike brings deep industry knowledge and expertise, an understanding of our global customers’ needs, and the leadership skills necessary to continue to drive our company’s growth while I focus more of my time on product innovations.”
As CEO, Wagner will run the day-to-day operations of the company and lead the executive team that DeMayo has built. “When Al and Mike [Bauman] showed me what they were doing as an organization to stay ahead of the quickly evolving industry, I knew I needed to be part of their next transformative wave,” Wagner said. “I’ve watched LiteGear dramatically change the way film and TV is created throughout my entire career.”
Following his transi2on from CEO to Chairman of the Board, DeMayo will focus on product innovation and overall company direction, responsible for overseeing the CEO, LiteGear Labs (the company’s incubation team comprised of research and development, technology and engineering), and protecting shareholder interests.
The company has made other strategic moves this year, including hiring Executive Director of Customer Experience Traci Lamm as part of LiteGear’s increased focus on customer experience as the company grows. The recent introduction of a board of directors, including co-founder and current gaffer Mike Bauman, will further strengthen LiteGear’s ability to deliver innovative products like the ones used to create TV and film favorites like Big Little Lies, Game of Thrones, and Avengers: Infinity War. As a member of the board, Bauman will be responsible for seeking the company’s long-term goals, reviewing and evaluating financial results and company performance, and strategic decision making.
DeMayo and Bauman started collaborating in the 1990s and in 2006, on the set of Iron Man, recognized the need for non-traditional lighting – so the two gaffers founded LiteGear. Bauman currently works as a gaffer, a role that allows him to pursue what he loves while also serving as the critical voice of the customer in touch with the community and its needs – a unique structure in the industry. Bauman simultaneously works as CTO and business development testing new technologies with peers, high-end cinematographers.
“The ability to create a prototype, then get the equipment on set and in the hands of the people who will be using the technology sets LiteGear apart from other lighting companies,” DeMayo said. “Our development cycle speed means we can come to market quickly and stay ahead of technological advancements.”
Headquartered in Burbank alongside the studios, with bi-coastal IATSE / union status, LiteGear is expanding in New York with John Velez heading those efforts. Later this year, their appointment-only showroom at Industry City in Brooklyn will open its doors to the public during regular business hours.