The most high-profile C-suite vacancy in the cannabis industry has been filled.
After many months without a permanent CEO, Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) announced on Monday that David Klein will take the position on Jan. 14, 2020.
No stranger to Canopy Growth, Klein is currently CFO and executive vice president of Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ), the alcoholic beverage company that bought into Canopy Growth in 2017 and is now its major shareholder. He will step down from his Constellation roles and as chair of Canopy Growth's board upon taking his new job.
Klein started at Constellation in 2004. Prior to that, he was CFO at bakery chain operator Montana Mills and had the same position at IT network services company NetSetGo. He also held management positions at Xerox and the defense company now known as L3Harris Technologies.
In spite of the relationship between Canopy Growth and Constellation and Klein's position as a sort of bridge between the two, Canopy Growth said he was hired via a "thorough recruitment process." This involved a specially formed committee of the company's board, in consultation with executive search specialist Heidrick & Struggles.
In the press release, Canopy Growth quoted him as saying that he "look[s] 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."
Canopy Growth was left without a permanent CEO in July when co-founder and co-CEO Bruce Linton vacated his position (according to him, he was fired). That left co-CEO Mark Zekulin as the sole leader; Zekulin made clear that he would stay on until a replacement was brought in. In addition to relinquishing the interim CEO position, Zekulin will also vacate his seat on Canopy Growth's board.
Klein's appointment was greeted with enthusiasm by the market, which pushed the marijuana stock's price up 14% on Monday. The reaction was decidedly cooler with Constellation shares, which declined marginally by just over 1%.