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Bruce Linton stepping down as co-CEO of Canopy Growth

The founder and co-CEO of Canopy Growth, a Smiths Falls, Ont.-based cannabis company, has stepped down.

The company made the announcement in a news release Wednesday morning that also said Mark Zekulin has moved from co-CEO to CEO as the board looks for a new leader.

“The board decided today, and I agreed, my turn is over,” Linton said in the release.

“While Canopy will never be the same without Bruce, the team and I look forward to continuing to do what we have done for the past six years: investing in world class people, infrastructure and brands, and always seeking to lead through credibility and vision,” said Zekulin in the release.

“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.”

The changes are effective immediately.

$5B investment last year

Canopy Growth has become one of the country’s biggest cannabis companies. It was founded in a former chocolate factory in the eastern Ontario town in 2013.

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.

The company reported an uptick in fourth-quarter net revenues, but a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss in its most recent quarterly report, on June 21.

“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.

“But, given the degree of the losses and the fact that profitability is becoming more of an investor focus, it is likely to cause concern.”

Its stock price on the Toronto Stock Exchange was at $52.49 a share at the end of the day Tuesday, up from $39.28 a share at the beginning of 2019, but down from its 2019 peak of $69.90 April 29.

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