Constellation Brands EVP/CFO Becomes CEO of Canopy Growth

Jan. 26, 2020
David Klein moves over from cannabis company's leading shareholder; he's the third CEO in six months.

David Klein, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Constellation Brands, was named CEO of leading Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth Corp., in which Constellation holds possibly 50 percent equity.

Klein has held a number of leadership roles in his 14 years at American liquor and beer company Constellation. He's also been chairman of Canopy's board of directors since Constellation bought into the company, but he resigned that job and all roles at Constellation. He took over as Canopy CEO on Jan. 14.

Judy Schmeling was appointed chair of the board on Jan. 22. She had a long career with HSN Inc. (formerly Home Shopping Network), leaving as chief operating officer in December 2017.

"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," said a Canopy announcement.

He's the third CEO at the cannabis company in six months. Canopy, headquartered in Smiths Falls, Ontario, was led by its founder, Bruce Linton, until his removal in July (he was also chairman). Mark Zekulin, "a founding employee" and for a while co-CEO with Linton, became sole CEO during the board's search for a permanent head, but he has stepped down and resigned his seat on the board of directors.

“Canopy Growth sits at the forefront of one of the most exciting new market opportunities in our lifetime,” said Klein. "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."

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