The CEO of embattled cannabis company MedMen is stepping down on February 1

Adam Bierman/ MedMen
Adam Bierman/ MedMen

Courtesy of MedMen

  • MedMen CEO and co-founder Adam Bierman is stepping down on February 1. He'll also surrender his super-voting shares.

  • The change comes after months of turmoil at the cannabis retailer. Last week, Bierman told Business Insider in an interview that investors were "right" to punish the company's stock.

  • Analysts called the move "welcome."

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The CEO of embattled cannabis retailer MedMen is stepping down, effective February 1, the company said on Friday.

Adam Bierman, the Los Angeles-based cannabis company's CEO and co-founder, will also surrender his Class A super-voting shares, the company said. Bierman will continue to serve on the company's board.

Ryan Lissack, MedMen's chief operating officer, will take over as interim CEO while the board searches for a permanent candidate.

Andrew Modlin, MedMen's president and cofounder, surrendered his super-voting shares in December.

"The Board supports both Adam's decision to step aside for a new CEO to lead the Company, and his and Andrew's decision to surrender their voting rights to give all shareholders a stronger voice," Ben Rose, the executive chairman of MedMen's board, said in a statement.

He continued: "This evolution will provide Adam the space to contribute to the future of MedMen and extend his commitment to the industry that he has helped pioneer."

MedMen's stock is trading under 50 cents per share, down sharply from more than $3 a year ago.

Cowen analyst Vivien Azer called the CEO change "welcome" in a note on Friday morning, and maintained her market perform rating on the stock.

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Executive departures, lawsuits, and corporate controversies

The leadership change at MedMen comes as the company was rocked by a series of executive departures, lawsuits, asset sales, and corporate controversies over the past year.

Chief Financial Officer James Parker filed a wrongful-dismissal suit in February, alleging there was rampant spending and an unhealthy work environment within the company. The company laid off about 40% of its corporate workforce in November and December in a push to be cash-flow positive by the end of 2020. A planned $680 million all-stock acquisition of the Illinois cannabis company PharmaCann was terminated in October.

And a parade of senior execs left the company in recent months, including David Dancer, the company's former chief marketing officer, Ben Cook, the company's former COO, among others.

In an interview with Business Insider last week, Bierman told Business Insider that investors were right to punish the company's stock.

"The investor community and the Street — they don't really get anything wrong," Bierman said. "If our stock is trading at a tremendous discount to our peer set, there's a reason for it."

Bierman said that the company was "six months" behind repositioning the business as the cannabis industry entered a challenging phase late last year with investment dollars drying up.

"As a result, our stock price has been punished. I think that it was on us to enter into the restructuring; it was on us to execute our way through the restructuring," Bierman said.

The company has engaged a turnaround firm, FTI Consulting, to help with the company's restructuring process, including negotiations with vendors, some of which said MedMen had not yet paid its bills.

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