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Aurora CEO Resigns Amid Mounting Difficulties and Layoffs

February 11, 2020

With Canada’s adult-use cannabis market continuing to endure growing pains, there’s been more turnover at the top of the industry in recent days.

Aurora Cannabis chief executive Terry Booth resigned last Thursday, ending a seven-year tenure. He will stay with the company as a senior strategic advisor and continue to serve on the board. Executive chairman Michael Singer has been appointed interim CEO, effective immediately; a search for a permanent replacement has already begun. Aurora has also added two slots to its board, to be filled by Lance Friedmann, a marketing executive from Kraft Foods and Mondelez, and Michael Detlefsen, managing director of Pomegranate Capital Advisors.

Booth’s resignation comes amid a period of restructuring for the Canadian cannabis giant. As part of an effort to move toward profitability, the company will lay off nearly 500 employees across departments, including approximately 25% of corporate positions. The departures will reduce Aurora’s workforce of approximately 3,400 by one-seventh.

Aurora told analysts to expect a revenue decline in its next quarterly results, which will be released Thursday. It expects revenue to total C$62-$66 million ($46.6-$49.7m), down from C$75 million ($56.4m) the quarter before, which was itself a 24% sequential decline.

Aurora is not the only company facing financial woes amid the industry headwinds. Competitor Tilray also announced recently that it would lay off around 10% of its 1,400 employees.—Danny Sullivan

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