Canopy Growth co-CEO Bruce Linton steps down

Canopy CEO Linton Ousted as Board Decides His ‘Turn is Over

Canopy CEO Linton Ousted as Board Decides His ‘Turn is Over

In an interview with CNBC, Linton said, "The board decided they wanted a different chair, and a different co-CEO, so I'm out effective immediately, and there's a search to replace the transitioning co-CEO". When asked specifically if he was terminated or if he stepped down voluntarily, Linton clarified, "I was terminated".

Linton has been the public face of the company he co-founded, which now has approximately 3,200 employees as of March 31.

Rade Kovacevic, who now leads the company's Canadian operations and recreational strategy, will take over the role of president from Zekulin.

It got a $5-billion investment in August 2018 from the parent company of Corona beer and Kim Crawford wines, and has partnered with celebrities such as Snoop Dogg and Seth Rogan.

"It is pretty clear that it was at the urging of Constellation Brands".

Shares of Canopy fell 7% to $37.24 each as of 7:49 a.m. ET on the New York Stock Exchange.

"We are working with Canopy nearly on a daily basis to ensure that we are all focused on the right things", CEO Bill Newlands had said on Constellation's post-earnings call with analysts.

"Lack of profitability should be no surprise given recent company commentary on investment commitments", said Jefferies analyst Ryan Tomkins in a note to clients that day.

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"We fully support the decision made by Canopy Growth's Board of Directors to appoint Mark Zekulin as the company's sole CEO", a spokesperson from Constellation Brands said in a statement to Yahoo Finance.

"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".

"Creating Canopy Growth began with an abandoned chocolate factory and a vision", Linton said in a statement.

"The future of Canopy Growth remains very bright and we look forward to the company's continued success for many years to come".

Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton on the outlook for the marijuana industry.

"In our view, Mr. Linton had set relatively high expectations in the market".

"We believe there may have been a disconnect between the near-term execution sought by Constellation at this point and Linton's focus on investing for the longer term, often at the expense of short-term performance", RBC analyst Douglas Miehm said.

Linton's surprise exit leaves Mark Zekulin in charge of the company and comes just weeks after it reported another quarterly loss as it pumps in money to fuel growth, betting on broader legalization in the United States.

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