Wellington Drive Technologies, the maker of energy-efficient refrigeration motors, named Greg Allen as new chief executive and said the ex-pat kiwi will be based in North America to be closer to customers.

Allen is currently general manager for industrial and green technology at Celestica, a Toronto-based manufacturing and supply chain services company, Wellington Drive said in a statement.

He replaces Ross Green, who has been with the company since its inception and is moving to "an advisory and support role,'' the company said in June.

Allen will participate in the company's partly paid share scheme, with an initial issue of shares equal to 2 per cent of Wellington Drive's stock on issue an option to buy more stock equal to 1 per cent of the company in each of his first three anniversaries.

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The shares all vest in two years from date of issue and Allen would pay 1.2 times the price on the issue date, the company said.

Shares of Wellington Drive last traded at 18 cents, valuing the company at $12.1 million, and have tumbled 52 per cent this year.

At that price, Allen's initial 2 per cent stake would be worth $242,520.

Wellington Drive is restructuring to reduce costs and working capital, and focus on its refrigeration business.

The company has never turned a profit since its inception in 1986, and has tapped patient shareholders for some $32.2 million over the past year to keep itself afloat.