Canopy Growth Corporation has announced that its co-CEO, Bruce Linton, is “stepping down” from his executive role and his position on the Canopy board.
Linton, however, challenges this description. He told CNBC earlier today (July 3), that he has in fact been “terminated” from his position by the company.
In November last year, Canopy secured a US $4bn investment from alcohol drinks giant Constellation Brands. Linton said today that: “About eight months and two days later, I think the board had decided they wanted a different chair and a different co-CEO.”
Mark Zekulin has now agreed to become the sole CEO of Canopy, which says he will “work with the board to begin a search to identify a new leader to guide the company in its next phase of growth, which will include both internal and external candidates”.
Rade Kovacevic, a long-serving member of the team currently leading all Canadian operations and recreational strategy will assume the role of President. These changes are effective immediately.
“Creating Canopy Growth began with an abandoned chocolate factory and a vision,” said Linton. “The Board decided today, and I agreed, my turn is over. Mark has been my partner since this Company began and has played an integral role in Canopy’s success. While change is never easy, I have full confidence in the team at Canopy – from Mark and Rade’s leadership to the full suite of leadership – as we progress through this transition and into the future.”
“The Board decided today, and I agreed, my turn is over.”
“We thank Bruce and Mark for establishing the foundation for a company that is very well-positioned to lead in the emerging global cannabis market,” said Canopy Growth board director, David Klein. “We are also excited to embark upon our next phase of growth as global leader in the cannabis industry.”
Canopy Growth has experienced rapid growth since being founded in 2013, establishing leading positions in Canada’s medical and recreational cannabis markets and building an emerging presence in a number of additional markets around the world.
“While Canopy will never be the same without Bruce, the team and I look forward to continuing to do what we have done for the past 6 years: investing in world class people, infrastructure and brands, and always seeking to lead through credibility and vision,” said Zekulin.
“I personally remain committed to a successful transition over the coming year as we begin a process to identify new leadership that will drive our collective vision forward. I know the company will continue to thrive as the Canopy story continues on for years to come.”
The Board has also appointed John Bell as its Board Chair, to be reviewed at the Board’s annual meeting in September when new board members are elected. Bell has served on the board as lead director for 5 years.Cannabis Business Worldwide