Synthetic graphite maker Hazer Group lost two directors on Friday, and its managing director was one of them.

Managing director Geoff Pocock quit suddenly, citing personal reasons.

Hazer (ASX:HZR) shares lost 11 per cent on Monday morning, dropping to 29.5c

Hazer says the COO, Mark Edwards, has stepped in as interim chief until the company can find a replacement managing director.

Director Terry Walsh also quit, effective immediately, but promised to stay on to help with business development. He cited other board commitments as his reason for leaving suddenly.

The Hazer share price has been a one-way ride since January.

Mr Pocock founded Hazer, whose technology to make hydrogen, with a commercial byproduct of graphite, out of iron ore and methane came out of the University of Western Australia.

He is one of the biggest shareholders in the company, controlling just over 8 per cent of the business as well as 16 million options.

He led the company through the IPO in 2015 and into a strategic partnership with Minerals Resources (ASX:MIN), in which the latter agreed to fund the company’s first commercial scale plant.

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“Geoff was instrumental in identifying Hazer’s commercial potential while still a university research project, and successfully created and built the company to where it is today,” said chairman Tim Goldsmith.

“Under Geoff’s leadership the company also has strong agreements and relationships with a number of leading potential partners, which have positioned Hazer well for growth into the future.”

The company has been contacted for comment.