EnChroma, creators of EnChroma eyewear for color blindness, named Erik Ritchie as its CEO. Mr. Ritchie brings 25 years of experience in the optical industry and other fields. Most recently, he served as Chief Commercial Officer for Zenni Optical, the largest online provider of prescription eyewear.
“Erik brings a unique combination of experience in the optical, consumer and technology industries to EnChroma and really understands what consumers want in optical products,” Bob Dykes, the Executive Chairman of EnChroma, said in a company news release. “He has a clear vision for expanding EnChroma’s market lead in solutions for color vision deficiency, and is the right person to help the company reach even more people who are color blind or suffer from low vision.”
“EnChroma represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with a product that is literally changing people’s lives,” Mr. Ritchie said. “EnChroma is on the cutting-edge of scientific innovation, has developed products that help people overcome frustrating daily vision obstacles and is enthusiastically embraced by users and eyecare professionals. I look forward to working with the outstanding team at EnChroma to guide the company to new heights of success.”
One in 12 men (8%) and one in 200 women (.05%) are color vision deficient; an estimated 13 million in the United States and 350 million worldwide. While people with normal color vision see over one million shades of color, those with color vision deficiency are estimated to see only about 10% of hues and shades.
Ritchie’s 25 years of experience spans organizational strategy, brand management, performance marketing, merchandising, talent management, and eCommerce operations. As Chief Commercial Officer for Zenni Optical, he led all merchandising, marketing, UX/UI, and IT functions. As a consultant, he led branding, advertising and/or communications campaigns for major brands such as Microsoft, Google, Blue Shield, Red Bull, Ticketmaster, and other Fortune 500 clients.
EnChroma’s patented lens technology is engineered with special optical filters that increase the separation between color channels to help people with color blindness see colors more vibrantly, clearly and distinctly. A recent study by world-renowned color vision scientists at the University of California, Davis, and France’s INSERM Stem Cell and Brain Research Institute, demonstrated the effectiveness of EnChroma’s lens technology.
EnChroma continues to lead in advocating for “color accessibility” through its EnChroma Color Accessibility Program. The program helps public venues, schools, state parks, libraries, museums and other organizations purchase and loan EnChroma glasses to color blind students and guests to help make schoolwork that involves color, colorful exhibits, attractions and/or experiences accessible to the color blind.