Curaleaf Holdings (OTC:CURLF) has replaced one of its key executives. The company announced Thursday that it has named Talley Wettlaufer to the position of senior vice president of retail -- essentially the top manager of the company's growing retail network. The appointment is effective immediately.
Wettlaufer succeeds Chris Melillo, who has parted ways with the company. Curaleaf did not supply a reason or reasons for his departure.
The company's new retail chief is one of the rare cannabis industry executives with experience working at a high executive level for a different company in the business. She was formerly head of retail at Grassroots, the privately held operator that in July was finally acquired by Curaleaf more than one year after the two companies formally agreed to combine.
A longtime retail industry veteran, Wettlaufer has worked in numerous capacities for such familiar consumer-facing companies as Abercrombie & Fitch, Petco, and J. Crew.
In its press release touting her appointment, Curaleaf quoted Wettlaufer as saying, "I look forward to creating exceptional experiences for all our patients and customers, increasing the visibility and preference for our brands, and enhancing the community connections of our local Curaleaf retail dispensaries."
With the absorption of Grassroots, the company says it is now the largest marijuana company in the world in terms of revenue. It also claims to be the most diversified, vertically integrated cannabis operator in this country. All told, it manages 93 dispensaries across 23 states serving medical and/or recreational marijuana.
Marijuana stock investors generally like when a seasoned executive with experience at familiar companies in more traditional sectors rises in the marijuana business. Curaleaf's stock rose by 0.3% on Thursday, in contrast to the pronounced decline of the broader stock market.