The firing of Canopy Growth co-CEO and co-founder Bruce Linton on July 3 shows that navigating the boardroom requires Machiavellian skills a lot of visionary company founders don’t have.
It’s a fate shared by many other company founders, including Steve Jobs, who was forced out of Apple in the 1980s. Linton emerged in the past two years as the face of the new cannabis industry, just as Jobs served as the most visible company leader during the personal computer revolution.
Through two of the most high-profile deals in the history of legal cannabis, Linton grew the company quickly as a major legal pot producer in Canada. First, he inked a $4 billion sale of a 38% stake in the company to Corona beer and spirits maker Constellation Brands one year ago in the largest single completed transaction in the industry to date. As part of the deal, Constellation received a majority of four seats on Canopy’s board of directors, effectively taking control of the company while only owning a minority position.
In April, Canopy announced a $3.4 billion deal, mostly in stock, to acquire U.S. multi-state operator Acreage Holdings. However, before it moves forward, U.S. prohibition laws around cannabis must