Did Short Sellers Make Aphria’s CEO and Co-Founder Step Down?


Jan. 15 2019, Published 8:06 a.m. ET

Key executives step down

During Aphria’s (APHA) earnings call, the big headlines were that CEO Vic Neufeld and co-founder Cole Cacciavillani will be transitioning out of their roles in the coming months. The company’s CEO said that this development was a part of its succession planning and added that “the journey has also taken a toll on health, family and personal priorities.”

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Serving as advisers

Vic Neufeld is broadly optimistic about the future of the cannabis industry in the US as well as the international market. Aphria (APHA), Canopy Growth (CGC), Cronos Group (CRON), and HEXO (HEXO) are all eyeing the prized US market (MJ).

To reach its global potential and increase shareholder value, Vic Neufeld believes that the company will require “an equally globally minded executive leadership team to lead the company into the next chapter.” He added that both he and Cole Cacciavillani would serve as special advisers to the company’s newly elected independent chair, Irwin Simon. Read The Latest from Aphria: Green Growth, Irwin Simon, and More.

Lately, short sellers have been highly critical of Aphria’s international acquisitions, especially in Latin America, and the CEO’s connection to those companies. This criticism is likely a key reason why Aphria’s CEO is stepping down. Vic Neufeld did provide a response to short-sellers and Green Growth’s takeover in its earnings call, which we’ll discuss in the next part of the series.


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