Bruce Linton says he was sacked as co-CEO of Canadian Canopy Growth
Canopy Growth shares have approached their lowest levels since January, after the company announced that Bruce Linton would no longer be CEO. Mark Zekulin, Linton's other co-CEO, will remain in office as the company launches a search for a new executive who will include both internal and external candidates.
"The board decided today, and I agreed, my turn is over," said Linton in a statement. "Mark has been my partner since the beginning of this company and has been instrumental in the success of Canopy."Linton has called CNBC to say that he had been fired
Canopy, the largest publicly traded cannabis company in the world, announced Wednesday in a press release that Linton was fired from his position as co-CEO and member of the board of directors, effective immediately. Mark Zekulin, who was Linton's co-CEO, becomes the only CEO while the company looks for a replacement.
"I think that withdrawing may not be the right sentence," he said, referring to the language used in the press release of the company. "I have been fired."
Linton turned Canopy into a multinational cannabis company, signing partnerships with celebrities such as Snoop Dogg et Martha Stewart, while pursuing contracts including an investment by the giant of spirits Constellation Brands and an acquisition of the American company Acreage Holdings. The news of his departure has shaken investors, initially sending shares down about 5%.
Canopy's shares recovered their losses, earning 0,5% in morning trading, while analysts said reversing leadership was the right decision to help the company mature and eventually become profitable.
"The magnitude of the losses for Canopy has grown much more than we thought and while congratulating Linton on his vision of creating the world's first cannabis company, we are confident that the new leadership will be a welcome change," he said. said Vivien Azer, analyst of Cowen. in a note to investors.
Constellation Brands invested 4 Billion Dollars in Canopy in November, giving the spirits giant a 38% stake. As part of this agreement, Constellation has appointed four directors to the Canopy board of seven members.
"About eight months and two days later, I think the board decided to choose a different president and a different co-CEO," he said.
Canopy has reported on last month a larger than expected loss in the fourth quarter. The loss absorbed 20% per share, close to 39 million, Constellation's own profits. Constellation CEO William Newlands told analysts that while the company remained satisfied with its long-term investment and potential, it was "not satisfied" with Canopy's recent results.
"What excites us is that it will be a big deal in the long run, and we work with Canopy almost daily to make sure we're all focusing on the right things," said Newlands.
In a statement, a spokeswoman for the Constellation said the company fully backed the decision to appoint Zekulin as sole CEO of Canopy.