Aurora Cannabis’ top executive unexpectedly steps down

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Aurora Cannabis

In the world of pot stocks, Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB) made news over this weekend with a sudden departure in its executive team. The last major executive announcement in the industry was when Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC) announced its new CEO, a long-expected announcement that everyone was anticipating. This recent announcing from Aurora, however, was completely unexpected, and likely will see shares dip a little once Monday’s markets open up for trading.

Aurora Cannabis’ Chief Corporate Officer (a position also referred by many as Aurora’s ‘Chief Promotional Officer’), Cam Battley, announced that he was moving down from the company as of Friday, December 20th. He had joined Aurora back in 2016, working in a number of executive positions before getting promoted to Chief Corporate Officer in 2018.

Our roots run deep, and Cam has been an integral part of the development, growth and expansion of Aurora,” said Terry Booth, CEO of Aurora Cannabis in a press release. “We are grateful for Cam’s leadership and passion over his many years with Aurora.  I am sure Cam will be successful as he moves on to tackle Australia.”

It turns out that Battley was appointed to MedReleaf Australia’s Board of Directors back in November, with the appointment having recently been approved by Australian authorities. While it’s unexpected for a senior executive at a large cannabis corporation to leave to work for a smaller firm, it does happen, especially if the move would give the executive a bigger role in running the company. However, as far as corporate press releases go, it could just as much be an excuse, especially since Battley has been a good public face for Aurora. Besides mentioning the MedReleaf angle, there really wasn’t any excuse mentioned at all for the departure. Often times, something like “wanting to spend more time with the family” is used as an excuse.

For the most part, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the markets react pretty negatively to this development, with shares of Aurora dipping once Monday’s markets open up. With no good excuse to explain this departure, investors are likely to suspect that Battley simply chose to leave. This is also a bad piece of news because, over the past few months, Battley has been playing a bigger role in interacting with the public than even Aurora’s CEO, Terry Booth.

Times have been tough for large-cap cannabis companies. Both Aurora and Canopy in particular, but even other companies like Tilray and Cronos Group, have seen their market values plummet over the past few months. Coupled with the fact that their recent financial results continue to disappoint, investors are becoming increasingly worried about these companies. Time will tell how Aurora will fare, but if asked a year ago, no-one would have thought that the cannabis market would be in the situation that it is in today.

Aurora Cannabis Company Profile

Aurora Cannabis Inc., headquartered in Edmonton, Canada, cultivates and sells medicinal and recreational cannabis through a portfolio of brands that include Aurora, CanniMed, MedReleaf, and San Rafael ’71. Although the company primarily operates in Canada, Aurora has expanded internationally through medical cannabis exporting agreements or cultivation facilities in more than 25 countries. – Warrior Trading News

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