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Linton ‘turn is over’ as Canopy Growth leader

Bruce Linton has stepped down as co-CEO of Constellation Brands-backed cannabis business Canopy Growth Corporation after the board said his “turn is over”.

Bruce Linton’s ‘turn is over’ as co-CEO of Canopy Growth Corporation

Last week, Canopy Growth issued a statement confirming Linton would immediately resign as co-CEO and board member at the firm, which would continue to be led by Mark Zekulin as sole CEO.

However, Zekulin is working with the board to “identify a new leader to guide the company in its next phase of growth”. Linton co-founded Canopy Growth with Zekulin in 2012.

Rade Kovacevic, who currently leads all Canadian operations and recreational strategy at Canopy Growth, will assume the role of president.

Linton said of his departure: “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.”

Speaking to CNBC, Linton said “stepping down might not be the right phrase”, referring to Canopy Growth’s statement, and instead said he was “terminated”.

Canopy Growth board director David Klein said: “We thank Bruce and Mark for establishing the foundation for a company that is very well positioned to lead in the emerging global cannabis market.

“We are also excited to embark upon our next phase of growth as global leader in the cannabis industry.”

US drinks group Constellation Brands acquired a minority stake in Canopy Growth in 2017 and announced its intention to explore cannabis-based drinks. The firm increased its shareholding to 38% after investing an additional US$4 billion in the business.

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