Michael Maloney is the CEO of KOTA Longboards. He’s had an interesting career. In 2012, he was CEO Novinda Corp., a clean coal tech company based in Denver, Colorado. When Maloney lost his job during the economic recession, the former US Navy pilot launched his entrepreneurial career. He saw the longboard market growing at a fast pace in Colorado and saw a need for a longboard appealing to a wider demographic (older than the stereotypical teen and including women). Maloney hired veterans to help him handcraft a line of long skateboards. KOTA stands for Knights of the Air, a moniker given to the earliest fighter pilots in WWI. All of the KOTA boards are named after WWI airplanes.
The story behind KOTA is a good one and it’s admirable that Maloney hires veterans as employees. However, according to The Profit, “the company is plagued by a high employee-turnover rate and a limited product line.” Plus, KOTA’s been missing the market on price. The Profit’s Marcus Lemonis will pay KOTA a visit. He will introduce Maloney to skating mogul Rob Dyrdek (CEO of DC Shoes) to assess the business. At one point, Dyrdek asks Maloney, “Do you just not want to do well?” Ouch. The Profit airs Tuesdays at 10pm on CNBC.