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Bruce Linton Steps Down As Canopy CEO; Company Launches Search For Permanent Successor

July 3, 2019

Canopy Growth’s Bruce Linton has stepped down as CEO and board member of the world’s largest cannabis firm, effective immediately. “The board decided today, and I agreed, my turn is over,” Linton said in a statement.

Former co-CEO Mark Zekulin will stay on as sole CEO and work with the board to find a new permanent leader. Also, Rade Kovacevic, currently the head of Canadian operations and recreational strategy, will assume the role of president. The board has also appointed John Bell as its chair, to be reviewed at its meeting in September when new board members are elected. Bell has served on the board as lead director for 5 years.

The shakeup follows an annual earnings report in which Canopy’s revenue surged yet failed to yield profits, with an adjusted EBITDA loss of $194.7 million. Constellation Brands—which has invested $4 billion in Canopy and has a 38% share—appears to have lost patience with the losses at the company.

“While we remain happy with our investment in the cannabis space and its long-term potential, we were not pleased with Canopy’s recent reported year-end results,” Constellation CEO Bill Newlands said in a recent call with analysts. Constellation reported a $828 million decrease in the fair value of its investment in Canopy in its fiscal first quarter.

In a statement this morning, Constellation said, “We fully support the decision made by Canopy Growth’s board of directors to appoint Mark Zekulin as the company’s sole CEO. Mark has played an integral role in the company’s success since its inception, including managing all aspects of the company’s day-to-day operations. He is committed to helping ensure a successful transition, as Canopy begins a process to identify a leader to drive the company’s vision going forward.”—Danny Sullivan

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