Canopy Growth Corporation Names Board Chair as New CEO
Canopy Growth Corporation today announced that David Klein, the chief financial officer of Constellation Brands, which owns 38% of the Canadian cannabis firm, would take over as its chief executive officer next month.
When he assumes the CEO role on January 14, 2020, Klein will become the third person to hold the company’s top position within the last six months. He supplants current CEO Mark Zekulin, who will step down and also resign his board seat on December 20, 2019.
Recall that Canopy co-founder and former co-CEO Bruce Linton was ousted from the company in July.
“Canopy today is positioned to win with the resources, infrastructure, team, and award-winning culture needed to succeed,” Zekulin said via a press release. “It has truly been an honour to be part of building a unique, Canadian success story like Canopy, and I look forward to seeing the Company continue to evolve and grow under David's leadership."
Klein, who had served as the chairman of Canopy’s board of directions since last November, spent 14 years with Constellation Brands. He served as New York-based alcoholic beverages company’s treasurer and controller for 5 years before taking over as CFO of its beer division in 2014, and was named CFO of the entire company in mid-2015.
"Thanks to the efforts of Mark and the entire team at Canopy Growth, no company is better positioned to win in the emerging cannabis market,” Klein said via a press release. “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.”
Klein will maintain a Canopy board seat, but a new chairperson will be named in in January.
The executive shuffle comes as Canadian cannabis companies prepare for the legal sale of THC-infused edibles and drinkables on December 17.
Last month, Canopy unveiled its “Cannabis 2.0” product portfolio, which includes ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages and chocolates. The company’s beverage offerings are made with “distilled cannabis,” and contain between two and 10 mg of THC. Meanwhile, chocolates will contain between 5 mg and 10 mgs of THC.
“Our goal is to provide customers with the best quality products, and I truly believe through the hard work and dedication of our team, we have delivered just that," Zekulin said last month.
Also Last month, Canopy struck a partnership with Canadian rapper Drake, who launched a company called “More Life” that will create THC and CBD offerings, herbal teas and extracts, among other cannabis-related products. Canopy owns 40% of the joint venture.
A press release with additional details is below.
Canopy Growth Announces David Klein as New Chief Executive Officer
SMITHS FALLS, ON, -- Canopy Growth Corporation ("Canopy Growth" or the "Company") (TSX: WEED) (NYSE: CGC) is pleased to announce that effective January 14, 2020, David Klein has been appointed as the Company's Chief Executive Officer.
David brings a wealth of expertise to this role, having served in a number of senior leadership capacities over the past 14 years at Constellation Brands. His capabilities include extensive CPG and beverage alcohol industry experience, strong financial orientation, and experience operating in highly regulated markets in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe. David is an experienced strategist with a deep understanding of how to build enduring consumer brands while leveraging operational scale across a dispersed production footprint. He is a strong leader with a proven track record of developing diverse and high performing teams.
In his current role as executive vice president and chief financial officer at Constellation Brands, David oversees all aspects of the company's finance operations, all mergers and acquisitions, as well as the company's information technology function. He is widely respected among members of the U.S. investment community, earning recognition as a top CFO by Institutional Investor magazine the past three years. David serves as a member of Constellation Brands' executive management committee. He has served on the Canopy Growth Board of Directors for over a year and is presently Canopy Growth's Board Chair. This familiarity with the Company's current leadership team and strategy will allow David to integrate quickly, a major benefit in the fast-moving cannabis sector.
"Canopy Growth sits at the forefront of one of the most exciting new market opportunities in our lifetime," said Klein. "Thanks to the efforts of Mark and the entire team at Canopy Growth, no company is better positioned to win in the emerging cannabis market. 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."
The appointment of David Klein follows a thorough recruitment process overseen by a special Hiring Committee of the Board using global recruitment company Heidrick & Struggles, which saw a wide variety of exceptional candidates vetted and interviewed. David will step down from all other positions he currently holds, remaining a member of the Canopy Board of Directors. The Company intends to appoint a new Chairperson upon David's effective date as CEO.
Consistent with the previously announced transition plan, with a new CEO identified Mark Zekulin will be stepping down from his role as CEO and resigning his seat on the Board of Directors of Canopy effective December 20, 2019. As a founding employee of Canopy Growth (then Tweed Marijuana Inc.), Mark was instrumental in building Canopy into what it is today first in the role of President, then President and Co-CEO, and finally as CEO.
"It has been an incredible six years at Canopy Growth, and I have witnessed the team and Company grow from five people in an abandoned chocolate factory, to thousands of people across five continents," said Zekulin. "Canopy today is positioned to win with the resources, infrastructure, team, and award-winning culture needed to succeed. It has truly been an honour to be part of building a unique, Canadian success story like Canopy, and I look forward to seeing the Company continue to evolve and grow under David's leadership."
Here's to Future Growth.
About Canopy Growth Corporation
Canopy Growth (TSX:WEED,NYSE:CGC) is a world-leading diversified cannabis, hemp and cannabis device company, offering distinct brands and curated cannabis varieties in dried, oil and Softgel capsule forms, as well as medical devices through Canopy Growth's subsidiary, Storz & Bickel GMbH & Co. KG. From product and process innovation to market execution, Canopy Growth is driven by a passion for leadership and a commitment to building a world-class cannabis company one product, site and country at a time. Canopy Growth has operations in over a dozen countries across five continents.
Canopy Growth's medical division, Spectrum Therapeutics is proudly dedicated to educating healthcare practitioners, conducting robust clinical research, and furthering the public's understanding of cannabis, and has devoted millions of dollars toward cutting edge, commercializable research and IP development. Spectrum Therapeutics sells a range of full-spectrum products using its colour-coded classification Spectrum system as well as single cannabinoid Dronabinol under the brand Bionorica Ethics.
Canopy Growth operates retail stores across Canada under its award-winning Tweed and Tokyo Smoke banners. Tweed is a globally recognized cannabis brand which has built a large and loyal following by focusing on quality products and meaningful customer relationships.
From our historic public listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange to our continued international expansion, pride in advancing shareholder value through leadership is engrained in all we do at Canopy Growth. Canopy Growth has established partnerships with leading sector names including cannabis icons Snoop Dogg and Seth Rogen, breeding legends DNA Genetics and Green House Seeds, and Fortune 500 alcohol leader Constellation Brands, to name but a few. Canopy Growth operates eleven licensed cannabis production sites with over 10.5 million square feet of production capacity, including over one million square feet of GMP certified production space. For more information visit www.canopygrowth.com
Notice Regarding Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements and information can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "estimates", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements or information involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Canopy Growth or its subsidiaries to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements or information contained in this news release. Examples of such statements include statements with respect to leadership changes and transitions. Risks, uncertainties and other factors involved with forward-looking information could cause actual events, results, performance, prospects and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Examples of such risks are contained in the Company's annual information form dated June 27, 2018 and filed with Canadian securities regulators available on the Company's issuer profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although the Company believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking information or forward-looking statements in this news release are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed time frames or at all. The forward-looking information and forward-looking statements included in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and the Company does not undertake an obligation to publicly update such forward-looking information or forward-looking information to reflect new information, subsequent events or otherwise unless required by applicable securities laws.