Canopy Growth founder Bruce Linton has been fired as co-CEO and has been replaced by Mark Zekulin as sole CEO, according to a CNN report. The company announced the shakeup on Wednesday but the company had indicated Linton had “stepped down.”
“I was terminated and the co-CEO is working through a transition position as they search for a new CEO,” Linton said in a CNN interview. According to the report, Zekulin will be out once the company finds a permanent hire. Linton told CNN that Canopy’s board now includes four directors installed by Constellation Brands – an alcohol distributor that owns about 38 percent of Canopy stock – and he had fallen out of favor with those directors.
According to Canopy, Rade Kovacevic, who currently leads the company’s Canadian operations and recreational market strategy, will serve as president.
“Creating Canopy Growth began with an abandoned chocolate factory and a vision. 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.” – Linton, in a statement
Zekulin said in a statement that the company will “never be the same” without its founder.
“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,” he said in a statement. “I know the company will continue to thrive as the Canopy story continues on for years to come.”
Last year, Canopy lost C$670 million on C$226.3 million in revenues, according to the CNN report. Constellation first acquired a 9.9 percent stake in Canopy in 2017.