Canadian cannabis producer Canopy Growth has named Constellation Brands Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer David Klein as its new chief executive officer. Klein has served in senior leadership roles at the alcohol distribution firm for 14 years and will take over for Mark Zekulin who took over as sole CEO following the ouster of company founder Bruce Linton.
Constellation, which distributes Svedka vodka and Corona beer, owns about 38 percent of Canopy after making its first investment in the company – then just 9.9 percent – in 2017. Last year, Constellation made a then-record $4 billion investment into the cannabis firm, more than tripling its share.
Klein, who will step down from all other positions when he takes over the reins on January 14, said “no company is better positioned to win in the emerging cannabis market” than Canopy.
“I look forward to working with the team to build on the foundation that has been laid, to develop brands that strongly resonate with consumers, and to capture the market opportunity before us. Together we will drive sustainable, industry-leading growth that benefits employees, shareholders and the communities in which we operate.” – Klein, in a press release
Klein is currently the chairman of Canopy’s board of directors which also counts Constellation executives Bill Newlands, Judy Schmeling, and Robert L. Hanson among its members. Linton indicated at the time of his dismissal that he had fallen out of favor with those directors but said he had “full confidence” in its leadership team.
Zekulin, who founded Canopy with Linton, will resign from his seat on the board on December 20.
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